Judge rules Utah GOP activist's bail will stay at $2 million in rape case

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Utah County man charged with raping five women will remain in jail with bail set at $2 million after a judge denied a defense motion to reduce the amount.

Attorneys for Gregory Nathan Peterson, 37, said they were not given sufficient notice when a judge earlier this year raised Peterson's bail from $750,000 to $2 million.

Third District Judge Judith Atherton raised Peterson's bail after a two-day preliminary hearing in August, during which four women testified that Peterson had sexually assaulted them.

But in her ruling, 3rd District Judge Katherine Bernards-Goodman said Peterson's attorneys had time to prepare, as they had already argued for a reduction at another hearing.

Bernards-Goodman also said the evidence presented at a preliminary hearing went beyond what prosecutors had charged in court documents, and warranted a change in bail.

Peterson faces kidnapping and rape charges in Salt Lake and Wasatch counties.

Peterson is well known in Utah Republican circles, and has hosted political events at a cabin in Heber, where prosecutors say some of the sexual assaults occurred. Peterson met all four women because of his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to testimony.

His next court date is set for Nov. 2.