A rural Nevada judge was extorted for money after having sex in his Reno hotel room with a known drug user and former legal client, a Fallon newspaper reported Friday.
Reno police confirmed District Judge Wayne Pederson of Yerington
reported that his wallet had been stolen in July by Irene Bailey
after the two had sex, the Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle
Afterward, Pederson reported receiving phone calls from Bailey
and unidentified men, threatening to report that the judge had
raped her unless he gave them money. Other calls threatened harm to
the woman, according to police reports.
Pederson was in Reno attending courses at the National Judicial
College at the time.
The judge said he's known Bailey's family for years and called
the situation embarrassing. He also said he was unaware Bailey was
"I think she's a mixed-up gal," Pederson told the newspaper.
"I didn't know she was a doper at the time. I asked her if she was
involved in any drugs and she said no.
"It's an embarrassing situation and I wish it hadn't
happened," Pederson said. "We started out with a dinner and ended
up with something else," he said.
According to the police report, Pederson met Bailey, 35, on July
10 for dinner, and she ended up staying the night in his hotel
The next evening, Pederson, 53, reportedly picked up Bailey at
an apartment, and the two went out for dinner and drinks before
going to Pederson's room at the Silver Legacy for sex.
While Pederson showered, the report states, Bailey allegedly
took his wallet and left.
The judge told investigators he received several phone calls
that night demanding money.
"A male voice asked Pederson if he was running for judge.
Pederson answered yes. The male then told Pederson he needed to
give him his credit card PIN number. The man told Pederson if he
did not give his PIN number the caller and Bailey would report to
police Pederson raped Bailey," the police report states.
Bailey called later, telling Pederson someone was going to hurt
her if he did not pay $500. Pederson offered to pay to get back his
credit cards, a concealed weapons permit, his pilot license and
other property in his wallet, according to the police report.
The judge eventually bought his wallet back for $400, the report
Police got a break in the case July 12 when one man tried to
cash one of Pederson's checks at a downtown Reno bank, the report
said. That suspect provided information that led to others involved
in the extortion plot.
In one report, Officer Roya Mason said Pederson did not want to
pursue the case against Bailey.
"Additionally, he was worried about unfavorable public
perception and that his opponent in the judgeship race may use the
case unfavorably," the report said.
Pederson was appointed in April to the Third Judicial District
Court bench by Gov. Kenny Guinn. He is running in the November
election to retain the seat, and is opposed by Lyon County District
Attorney Leon Aberasturi.
Bailey told investigators Pederson was her lawyer in Lyon
County, where she spent six months in jail on a drug-related theft
conviction. She was released from jail in February and returned to
her drug habit, the police report said.
Bailey told police she ran into some drug acquaintances to whom
she owed money in the bathroom at the Silver Legacy while on her
date with Pederson. They threatened to damage Pederson's name
unless Bailey paid a $400 drug debt, the police report said.
"Bailey said that she was scared, didn't know what to do, and
didn't want to tell Pederson," the report said. Instead, she stole
the judge's wallet and checkbook while he was taking shower.
"Bailey said she was very sorry for what happened and that
Pederson was angry with her. However, they still remain fairly
close although they are not currently dating."
The report noted that Bailey had campaigned with Pederson,
passing out flyers, the weekend after the incident.