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Family speaks out after Van Buren Co. man accused of accosting a child

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Van Buren County man is facing some serious child sex abuse allegations, and a member of his family came forward to talk to Newschannel 3.

The man at the center of these allegations is 68-year-old Delbert Pedersen.

Pedersen is charged with two felony crimes related to accosting a child for immoral purposes and indecent exposure, and now deputies say they're expanding their investigation.

The situation is a nightmare for parents, and is especially worrisome for people who might have been in contact with Pedersen.

But what's scariest about the entire situation is what we heard from his own niece.

Imagine having to live life knowing your uncle is going to be on trial for accosting a child.

"Horrified; sick, disappointed, everything; I can't think of the words to describe how we felt and what we're going through with him," said Shari Dean, Pedersen's niece.

With Pedersen already set to go to trial on two felony charges, deputies confirmed to Newschannel 3 on Monday that new victims have come forward.

"More are coming forward, now that the door's been opened," said Sergeant Dan Abbott, with the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office.

That realization leaves Shari Dean with a sick stomach, after she personally asked him to admit everything he's done.

"I would say 'I asked you to do the right thing,' and he's not doing the right thing," she said. "Now, you have to face your consequences."

Those consequences, if convicted, are perhaps four years behind bars.

However, a court clerk told Newschannel 3 that Pedersen doesn't have a bond restriction limiting his engagement with children, something Dean is concerned with.

"From what I have heard, he is still taking boys out on the golf cart and I can imagine the parents don't know and people need to know what's going on," she said. "I don't want any more families to go through this."

Petersen is out on bond, and a court clerk did confirm that he does not currently have a restriction regarding being around children.

If any new charges are filed, we'll let you know.

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