By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Pedersen, 28, and the girl are alleged in court documents filed with the charges to have had a “boyfriend and girlfriend” relationship, which included daily text messages and exchanges of nude pictures.
The girl told police she and Pedersen, a former volunteer assistant varsity coach, never had sex, though friends told police she told them they had.
Clallam County prosecutors formally charged Pedersen, of Sequim, with five counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes between March 1 and March 23 of this year.
After a 10-day investigation, which included interviews with students, school officials and parents of players on the team, Pedersen was arrested by Sequim police and taken to Clallam County jail April 1. He was released the next day.
According to the probable cause document, police received a telephone call March 23 from a sheriff's deputy who had heard of a relationship between a player and a coach on the team.
Police went to the school the next day after another student reported the relationship to school officials.
Several friends of the girl and Evan Still, head coach of the basketball team, reported seeing the two text frequently.
The girl told police she and Pedersen initially would text back and forth about “life” beginning after the team attended a basketball camp last summer.
Eventually, those texts turned to flirting and sending nude pictures back and forth, the girl told investigators.
Still told investigators he had seen a text from the player on Pedersen's phone where they referred to each other as “babe.”
Still told police he then fired Pedersen and told the girl to block his phone number.
The girl told police she had blocked his number, but they began texting again after Pedersen contacted her a week later.
She also said she had deleted text messages from Pedersen after sending him a message the police were there when she found out police were at the school.
The charges are Class C felonies, the least serious type of felony.
Each one carries a maximum sentence of five years and fines of up to $10,000. Pedersen would also be required to register as a sex offender if convicted.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.