Well-Connected Utah GOP-Tea Party Fundraiser Accused of Multiple Rapes

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Well-Connected Utah GOP-Tea Party Fundraiser Accused of Multiple Rapes

Jodi Jacobson

A prominent GOP/Tea Party fundraiser, with strong connections to other prominent GOP leaders, has been accused of mulitple counts of rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping.

Editor’s Note: The Greg Peterson noted in this story should not be confused with Greg A. Peterson, Adjunct Professor at the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, and President and COO of OrangeSoda, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deluxe, a publicly traded company.

We were alerted to this story, first reported in the Salt Lake Tribune News, by our colleagues at Talking Points Memo.

According to the Tribune, “Gregory Nathan Peterson, 37, of Orem, was charged Wednesday 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City with 23 felony counts, including rape and kidnapping, and two misdemeanors. A jail log indicates U.S. marshals arrested Peterson in his home in Heber and booked him into the Salt Lake County jail. He remained there Thursday in lieu of $750,000 bail.”

In one of the cases, he met at a church function and asked her to join him at the movies. Afterward, he told her he had a gun, and took her to a cabin in Heber, Utah, where he both physically and sexually assaulted her. Peterson often uses the same cabin to host fundraisers for prominent Utah Republicans, including Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, among others, as well as for annual Republican barbecues and gatherings. His Facebook page, according to the Tribune,featured several photos of him with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint. 

Roe is gone. The chaos is just beginning.

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Mitt Romney (left) with Greg Peterson. <em>Salt Lake Tribune.</em>

Mitt Romney (left) with Greg Peterson. Salt Lake Tribune.

The charges allege Peterson met another woman online and she agreed to go to a movie with him July 2, 2011. But this time Peterson threatened to expose the woman’s expired immigration visa and drove her to the Heber cabin, documents allege. Peterson raped and assaulted the woman there, then drove her to his mother’s residence in Lewiston. Peterson and the woman stayed there until July 5. The court papers say Peterson took the woman to her home July 8.In the other cases, the Tribune reports:

On Dec. 11, 2011, Peterson met a West Jordan woman for a lunch date, court documents allege, and at her home he pushed her on a couch and sexually assaulted her.

Then on April 21 of this year, court papers say, Peterson went on a lunch date with another woman he met through an online dating website. At her home, it’s alleged, Peterson grabbed the woman by an arm and dragged her to the bedroom and held her down while he unzipped his pants and exposed his penis. The woman yelled “no” and “get the hell out of my house.”

From Peterson's Facebook page.

From Peterson’s Facebook page.

He has been charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, three counts of rape, seven counts of object rape, and one count of forcible sexual abuse, all first-degree felonies; nine second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse; one third-degree felony count of burglary. He also is charged with one count each of assault and sexual battery, both misdemeanors.

The rape and kidnapping charges are first-degree felonies that carry sentences of up to life in prison.

Read more at TPM and the Salt Lake Tribune.