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Conservative fundraiser charged with sex assault of 4 women

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A major political player among Utah conservatives faces rape, kidnapping, sex abuse, sexual battery and burglary charges.
Greg Peterson
Greg Peterson
Mitt Romney and Greg Peterson
Mitt Romney and Greg Peterson
Ron Paul and Greg Peterson
Ron Paul and Greg Peterson
Greg Peterson and Mike Lee
Greg Peterson and Mike Lee
Gary Herbert and Greg Peterson
Gary Herbert and Greg Peterson
Greg Peterson and Mitt Romney
Greg Peterson and Mitt Romney
Greg Peterson and Orrin Hatch at GOP barbecue
Greg Peterson and Orrin Hatch at GOP barbecue
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A major political player among Utah conservatives faces rape, kidnapping, sex abuse, sexual battery and burglary charges.

37-year-old Gregory Nathan Peterson is a Republican fundraiser who is known for hosting large events in which many major GOP public figures attend, including Governor Gary Herbert, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, U.S. Senator Mike Lee, U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, and others.

Court documents show the Peterson was charged with the sexual assault of four women between March 2011 and April of 2012. The alleged incidents occurred on March 26-27, 2011, July 2-3 2011 December 11, 2011, and April 21, 2012.

"Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat is irrelevant," says Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill. "The allegations are serious. The crime that is alleged is serious. I have four victims."

Peterson's accused of raping four different women at the same cabin he uses for GOP fundraising events. Prosecutors say Peterson met his victims through an on-line dating service.

In all, he's facing 25 counts of rape, sex abuse, object rape, aggravated kidnapping and burglary.

Those who may have benefited from Peterson's fundraising are now keeping their distance.

From U.S. Senator Mike Lee's office: "Mr. Peterson was not involved in the campaign or in getting him elected."

And From the governor's office: "The Governor has his photograph taken with thousands of people at hundreds of events every year. Mr. Peterson has no formal affiliation with the Governor's campaign, nor has he ever. In fact, the Governor declined Mr. Peterson's invitation to this past spring."
Advocates say there's no guarantee of safety in a blind date even with someone with Peterson's credentials.

"It is the rapist who is at fault and is is the rapist who needs to control himself," says Holly Mullen of the Rape Recovery Center.

Court records also show that two of the alleged assaults took place at Peterson's Heber Valley cabin, while two others occurred at the homes of the alleged victims following lunch dates.

Peterson's Heber cabin is the same location where the defendant has held Republican fundraising barbecues for the past three summers. Peterson was booked into jail on 23 counts of rape, kidnapping, sexual abuse, assault, sexual battery and burglary on Wednesday.

Peterson was scheduled to appear in 3rd District Court Monday.

Peterson is a Nebraska native and graduate of Brigham Young University. He has worked for Merrill Lynch and  Solomon-Smith-Barney, and currently owns and operates Peterson Wealth Management.

Peterson has also attended campaign events for presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
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