Courts • GOP activist charged with sexually assaulting five women during dates.
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Attorneys for rape suspect Greg Peterson say a judge violated state law when on her own motion she upped the GOP activist's bail to $2 million in August.
Peterson's lawyers recently filed a supplemental memorandum in support of a motion to strike an order enhancing bail.
Third District Judge Judith Atherton raised Peterson's bail from $750,000 to $2 million after a two-day preliminary hearing in August. At that time, she ordered the 37-year-old to stand trial on 25 charges stemming from allegations of four women that they were sexually assaulted by the man.
Peterson met all four women because of his membership in the LDS Church, according to prosecutors and the women's testimony. He allegedly raped two of the women at his cabin in Heber, the same residence in which he hosted gatherings for notable Utah Republicans. The other women were assaulted at their homes, prosecutors say.
At the end of August's hearing, Atherton asked prosecutors if they wanted bail raised, which Peterson's lawyers said was the violation of the law, saying in the motion filed last week that the court does not have authority to modify bail on its own motion.
Even if the judge could modify bail, Peterson and his legal team were not prepared to address a bail hearing as part of the preliminary hearing, they argue.
Peterson is due in court in Salt Lake City again on Nov. 2. He is also charged in a separate case with a single count of forcible sex abuse involving a fifth alleged victim in Heber. He will be in 4th District Court on Oct. 10 for a preliminary hearing.