A high-profile Republican fundraiser who co-chaired at least one event for presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been accused of kidnapping and raping several women that he met online and at church.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that 37-year-old Gregory Peterson had been arrested on Wednesday and charged with 23 felonies and two misdemeanors. Charges included “nine counts of forcible sexual abuse, seven counts of rape, three counts of object rape, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, assault, burglary and sexual battery,” according to KSL. As of Thursday afternoon, we was still being held at the Salt Lake County jail on $750,000 bond.
Charging documents indicated that Peterson victimized a least four women, three of whom he met at an online dating site.
A fourth woman he met at a church function in 2011 agreed to go to a movie with him, but he allegedly forced her to go to his 3,000-square-foot cabin in Heber, Utah after telling her he had a gun. Peterson is accused of sexually assaulting the woman and hitting her when she didn’t follow his instructions.
He is also accused of threatening to report a woman he met online for having an expired visa. He then allegedly drove her to his cabin where she was raped and assaulted.
Peterson’s Facebook page showed a photo him meeting with Romney and indicated that he co-chaired at least one Romney fundraiser on Nov. 17, 2007, according to Talking Points Memo. ABC 4 obtained a photo of Peterson with his arm around a smiling Romney at another event.
Peterson owns Peterson Wealth Management and the online trading website Smartstocks.com. He also holds an MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurship from Brigham Young University.