Charges: Accused rapist broke into home, zip-tied and assaulted woman in Winona

The 30-year-old defendant has been charged with 18 felonies.
Publish date:
Zane Robert Pederson

A 30-year-old Spicer man is facing 18 felony charges – 15 for criminal sexual conduct – and is being held in Winona County Jail with bail set at $2 million. 

An amended indictment against Zane Robert Pederson covers a wide range of alleged crimes, including sexual assault, burglary, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and threats of violence. 

According to a criminal complaint, Pederson is accused of breaking into a woman's home in Winona around 1 a.m. Nov. 18, 2018, then approaching her as she slept. The woman awoke to find him standing at the end of her bed in a mask and holding a handgun. 

Police say Pederson zip-tied the woman's hands behind her back, before raping her three times over a five-hour period, placing a handgun by her face during the third assault. The woman's child was in the home the entire time. 

At one point, Pederson allegedly told the woman that "he was a rapist, not a monster," which he claimed to be a joke. 

Pederson is alleged to have threatened to kill both the woman and her child, warning her that "he would hate" to go to her child's school and he "would hate to kill her child," the complaint says. 

Pederson left the woman's home around 6 a.m. the same day. 

On March 6, investigators searched Pederson's home and found articles of clothing belonging the victim, leading to an interview in which Pederson admitted to being in the woman's home the night of the assaults. He said he was using methamphetamine at the time, telling investigators that the sex was consensual and that the victim initiated the first sexual encounter. 

Investigators found DNA samples that matched Pederson from a separate pending sexual assault investigation, which the West Central Tribune reports is a case in which he's accused of sexually assaulting a vulnerable adult at a group home where he worked in Kandiyohi County. 

Five of the felonies Pederson faces are for criminal sexual conduct with at least two heinous acts, which can include creating inhumane conditions, torture or using a dangerous weapon. Five criminal sexual conduct charges allege one heinous act was committed, and five more do not include heinous acts. 

The three other amended charges are for first-degree burglary. 

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.


How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.


Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.


4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.


Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.


At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said


Charges: Serial rapist in Minneapolis targeted women online

The 24 year old was arrested after an alleged attack on March 18.

Michael Walton Hinton

Charges: Man held woman captive, raped, stabbed, and beat her

The man suspected of the crimes has been charged with seven felonies.

Gideon Erhabor

Ex-Bethel football player charged with raping 3 students

The 21-year-old is accused of the crimes dating back to fall 2018.

Nathan James Homme

Charges: Wisconsin man planned to kidnap Shoreview woman

The 39-year-old man has been charged with two felonies.

President Pimpin Austin

Charges: Man assaulted, raped woman he'd just met inside her car

The 28-year-old from St. Paul has been charged with 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Spearmint Rhino

Charge: Chaska man raped woman at Minneapolis strip club

A nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Charges: Oregon businessman raped woman at Twin Cities hotel

It allegedly happened at the DoubleTree hotel on Nov. 30.

Minneapolis suspect

Police release sketches of suspected serial rapist in Minneapolis

Residents are encouraged to stay vigilant and avoid walking alone if possible.