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Willmar, MN (KROC-AM News) - A man serving a nearly 21-year prison sentence for raping and terrorizing a St. Charles woman has worked out a plea agreement in another sexual assault case.

32-year-old Zane Pederson, who currently resides at Stillwater State Prison, has entered an Alford plea to a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. The plea means he does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is sufficient evidence to convict him.

Minnesota Dept. of Corrections photo

The charge stems from allegations that the former Spicer man sexually assaulted a vulnerable adult male while Pederson was an employee of a group home in Willmar where the victim was a resident. The criminal complaint indicates the DNA evidence linked Pederson to the crime, which was reported in December 2018.

The plea agreement includes the dismissal of a related and gross misdemeanor charge involving sex abuse by a caregiver. Court records also indicate that Kandiyohi County prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence that will be concurrent to the prison sentence he received in the Winona County case. Pederson's sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place Friday morning.

Pederson was sent to prison in February after he pleaded guilty in Winona County Court to a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. DNA evidence was also used in that case to link him to the sexual assault in St. Charles in November 2018. He was accused of raping the victim several times while threatening to kill her and her child after breaking into their home.

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