Monday, July 23, 2012

Accused Kidnapper And Rapist Gregory Nathan Peterson Arraigned In Utah's Third District Court; Bail Remains Set At $750,000

Note: All posts on this case can be displayed simultaneously HERE, with the most recent post appearing first.

Update October 19th: Greg Peterson released on $2 million bail in the Salt Lake case, and his next court hearing is scheduled for November 2nd.

Accused kidnapper and rapist Gregory Nathan Peterson was formally arraigned on July 23rd, 2012 before Judge Ann Boyden at Utah's Third District Court on the 25 different charges against him involving four female victims. The hearing lasted less than 10 minutes as Peterson was advised of the charges against him and his attorneys asked for a hearing to discuss lowering his bail. A bail hearing before Judge Katherine Bernards-Goodman has been set for July 25th.

Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Joseph Hill defended the $750,000 bail amount as being in line with a case of this magnitude, and said the alleged victims are being cooperative. He noted that the fact that there are multiple alleged victims makes it a strong case. In contrast, defense attorney Cara Tangaro said the bail request is completely arbitrary and based primarily upon his perceived ability to pay it. She will ask for a reduction in bail on July 25th; earlier on July 20th, she suggested that $100,000 is more typical. Peterson is also being represented by Gerald Salcido. KSL news video below:

Update July 25th: Bail remains set at $750,000. Defense attorney Cara Tangaro said Peterson would voluntarily hand over his passport and would avoid dating websites and LDS singles wards if the judge were to reduce his bail to $25,000 cash, or $200,000 bondable bail, but Salt Lake County prosecutor Joseph Hill countered that Peterson had shown a complete inability to control his urges. Judge Katherine Bernards-Goodman agreed that anyone charged with these types of crimes would have to be considered a flight risk, and refused to lower bail.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he reviewed a fifth woman’s case involving allegations from August 2009, but declined to prosecute because he could not prove that she didn’t consent to having sex with Peterson. The fifth woman, Gill said, told Peterson she felt uncomfortable, and that was the only thing she said. No other prospective victims have come forward since Peterson's arrest.

One of the victims originally reported the assault to Wasatch County Attorney Scott Sweat, but Sweat, a Republican, declined to prosecute. The victim's persistence in contacting the Unified Police in March is what cracked the case open, and Deb Henry has launched a petition campaign asking the US Attorney for the State of Utah, David B. Barlow, to appoint an out-of-state independent investigator to examine the failure to prosecute Greg Peterson, and any political pressure that was exerted to that end. Access the petition at this link:

Peterson, who was arrested on July 19th, is an enterpreneur, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been a GOP activist and fundraiser, as described in this previous post. On July 20th, his attorney Cara Tangaro said her client proclaimed that he is 100 percent innocent of the charges, and that nothing illegal happened between him and the four women involved.

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