A Ferndale man accused of inappropriately touching a pre-teen girl last year pleaded guilty to communicating with a minor for immoral purposes Thursday, July 5.
Charles K. Pedersen, 41, will serve one month of partial confinement in work release or work crew for the crime.
The incident occurred in January 2011, when the girl was at Pedersen's home overnight. She told investigators that he came to her while she was lying on the couch and began talking to her and touching her inappropriately, according to court documents. He allegedly put her feet in his lap, stroked her legs and groped her inner thighs, telling her she was hot and looked older. He talked about sex acts and allegedly touched her vagina before the girl pushed his hand away.
Whatcom County Sheriff's Office investigators met with Pedersen, and he initially admitted to patting the girl's foot during an impromptu counseling session that the girl had initiated. He then admitted that he was heavily intoxicated and rubbed her legs but did not touch her vagina, according to court documents.
Pedersen was originally charged with second-degree child molestation but pleaded guilty to the lesser crime.
Reach ZOE FRALEY at email@example.com or call 756-2803.