Convicted Sex Predator, Erik Pedersen slipped out of Grenada quietly on Monday morning for his homeland in the United States after his cover as a sex predator was blown wide open.
A well-placed source told THE NEW TODAY that Pedersen boarded an American Airlines flight at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) with Chicago, Illinois as his final destination.
The Pedophile had been living in Grenada for the past six months as one of the operators of the Winners Gaming Club on the Carenage in St. George’s.
Pedersen’s past as a U.S sex criminal cover was made public in a front page story in last week’s edition of THE NEW TODAY newspaper who investigated him following a complaint from a member of the public.
According to a well informed source, the Chicago-based owners of Winners Club have apparently taken a decision to send the “Registered sex predator” to one of their other operations in Texas in the United States after being left embarrassed over the exposure on the island of their “man on the ground”.
Pedersen has five or six criminal convictions in the United States for sexual offences involving young girls between the ages of thirteen and eighteen.
The source confirmed that the U.S sex offender got married in February to a local woman as part of an alleged scheme for him to be granted citizenship of Grenada and to start a new life given his shady background.
He said the questionable wedding ceremony, presided over by one of the island’s Magistrates (name withheld), was held at Le Phare Bleau in the Calivigny area.
The source who spoke on condition that he was not named, pointed out that the wedding ceremony was not attended by any Cabinet Minister of the Keith Mitchell-led government as stated in last week’s issue of this newspaper.
He identified one of the persons who witnessed the ceremony as an attorney-at-law who was once associated with Justis Chambers of Attorney-General, Cajeton Hood and someone named only as “Matt” who was described as a “white technician that was on the island to install the video gaming machines imported into the country by Winners Club.
The gaming outfit had imported 50 machines and installed them in a building on the Carenage that was previously used by Karma nightclub.
Although there has been no official comment from the Mitchell government on the Pedersen affair, a source said that the one-year old administration has been left embarrassed by the unfolding events involving a pedophile who was given safe-haven on the island for many months.
He quoted a senior administration official as saying that the Gaming official would have to leave the island despite of the so-called marriage with a local woman.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Pedersen has not yet been granted citizenship by the Mitchell government and that an investigation had started prior to the breaking news to determine if the marriage was in good order and not done in order to facilitate the bid by the U.S Sex Predator to get permanent legal status to work and live on the island.
He spoke of a senior member of government conducting “a telephone interview” with Pedersen and his wife last week and that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had also got into the act by interviewing certain persons about the purported marriage.
The source could not shed any light on why a Minister of the government who is not associated with the Ministry of Home Affairs which is responsible for marriages would be involved in the Pedersen marriage issue.
“I honestly don’t know. That’s a good question you have asked there”, as he responded to queries from THE NEW TODAY.
There are unconfirmed reports that a woman from the River Road area of St. George’s was first offered EC$10, 000.00 about two months ago to facilitate an alleged marriage with the U.S sex offender.
A knowledgeable source told this newspaper that the woman was offered EC$4000.00 up front with the rest to be paid over a specified period of time. The marriage did not take place.
Pedersen reportedly tied the knot with a woman named Veron H. Williams of River Road, St. George’s.
The American sex predator has had a checkered past in the United States over the years.
A report carried in the Tribune newspaper in Chicago indicated that Pedersen was given a 2-year probation for sexual contact with underage girls in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two girls.
The report said that Pedersen then 43 years old, pleaded guilty before Judge Timothy Chambers to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for having sexual contact with two of his students.
The court was told that the accused ran a Winnetka company called All Star Fitness, and worked primarily with young female athletes.
A 15-year-old girl told police in summer 2007 that Pedersen had sexual contact with her and that another 16-year-old girl made similar accusations after the first girl’s allegations were made public.
The court also ruled that Pedersen should not be allowed to ever get in contact with a child under the age of 18 and that he had to register as a sexual predator.
The Chicago Bears also reportedly denied a claim made by the accused that he was one of their trainers.
A posting on the internet also urged that, “if anyone ever sees (Pedersen) with anyone under the age of 18, please call the police. To any other person that he has had contact with under age, please call the police. We know there are others out there. Erik is not who he says he is”.
Pedersen is believed to have left the island without his newly wed wife.
THE NEW TODAY has also received information that the operators of Winners Club will also be pulling out of the island another of its operatives, Demitri Stavropoulous who has also run afoul of the law in the United States.