Utah GOP Activist Hit With Another Sex Assault Charge

Political activist Greg Peterson was charged Monday with sexually assaulting yet another woman at his Utah cabin where he hosted events for some of the biggest names in Republican politics there.

Prosecutors in Wasatch County, Utah charged Peterson, 37, with forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, for a 2010 incident involving a woman he brought back to the cabin, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.Meanwhile, Peterson was scheduled on Tuesday morning to appear in court in Salt Lake City for the start of a two-day preliminary hearing, where a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to move forward in a case involving four other women who have accused him of sexually assaulting them since March 2011.

Salt Lake County prosecutor Joseph Hill told TPM recently that the women who have accused Peterson of rape and other sexual attacks were expected to testify at this week’s hearing. Peterson has pleaded not guilty in the case. His attorneys have said he has been falsely accused.

Peterson was heavily active in Republican circles in Utah. He hosted events at his cabin in Heber, Utah, where some of the top politicians in the state were guests. That included Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, Gov. Gary Herbert and Rep. Jason Chaffetz. He also co-chaired a fundraiser for presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2007 in Park City, Utah.

In the most recent case, the woman said Peterson took her to his cabin for lunch in April 2010. There, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, he allegedly exposed his genitals to her and tried to force her to touch him. The woman was able to make him stop when she placed her hand on the holster of her gun, the newspaper reported.

In the other cases, Peterson was accused of kidnapping women he dated and taking them to his cabin in Heber, where he then raped them. In one incident, prosecutors alleged, he found out the woman was an immigrant living in the U.S. on an expired visa and threatened to have her deported if she didn’t do what he wanted.