Wayne County sergeant charged in sex case

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Woodhaven — Thomas Arthur Pedersen, a 48-year-old sergeant with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, was arraigned Thursday morning on four counts of criminal-sexual conduct with a victim 13 years of age or younger.

Judge Michael McNally of the 33rd District Court in Woodhaven gave Pedersen a $250,000 cash bond and required him to wear a tether if that bond is posted. If it isn’t, he’ll remain in jail until the case is settled.

In addition to the bond and the GPS, McNally barred Pedersen from contact with the victim — Pedersen can’t get within 2 miles of that individual — and with anyone under the age of 18. Pedersen was ordered to not leave the state without the court’s permission and barred from contact with witnesses in the case.

Kelly Miner, a spokeswoman for the Wayne a County Sheriff’s Office, said Pedersen was hired in September 1995 and became a sergeant in 2012. His last service to the county took place at the William Dickerson Detention Facility in Hamtramck.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Michael Woodyard said Pedersen had been suspended from the sheriff’s office.

“Pederson was suspended without pay, his police powers have been suspended, and his security clearance to enter any Wayne County Sheriff’s Office facility has been revoked,” county sheriff officials said in a statement following Pedersen’s arraignment. “Pedersen may be subject to future disciplinary action predicated on the outcome of his trial and a review of the investigation conducted by the Brownstown Police Department.”

The defendant will be housed at the Oakland County Jail to “avoid any potential conflict of interest,” sheriff’s officials said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family.”

McNally also imposed conditions on media covering the case. Only two video cameras can be present at subsequent hearings, along with two still cameras. Those left out would have to rely on pool coverage.

Media are prohibited from shooting sidebar conferences involving the attorneys or attorney-client communications between the defendant and his attorney. Media are prohibited from publishing any details that would infer the minor victim’s identity, or from doing any reporting on the victim.

Pedersen is due back in McNally’s court on Nov. 29 at 1:30 p.m. for a probable-cause conference and on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. for a preliminary examination.