Mitt Romney’s BFF, Alleged Serial Rapist Greg Peterson, Commits Suicide While Out On Bail

Is this why Republicans are so eager to redefine rape?

Is this why Republicans are so eager to redefine rape?

Greg Peterson–self-promoting glad-hander, best friend to a whole slew of Republican Big Name politicians, host of many GOP fundraisers in Utah, and vicious serial rapist–has decided to spare his victims the additional trauma of going through court proceedings, as he has apparently died in the same cabin in Heber, Utah where several of the rapes were said to have taken place. Of course, by choosing suicide, he also denied his victims their day in court.

After Peterson missed an appointment with his attorneys after being released on bail, Wasatch County, Utah sheriff’s officials were dispatched and found Peterson dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Peterson, 37, was charged by authorities this July and was facing 25 charges of assault, rape and kidnapping. He apparently met his victims on Facebook, at church functions, and on Mormon dating websites. (Thump And Whip claims that the charges were “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.” So, there’s that. Make of it what you will.)

One Peterson Facebook invitation allegedly read: “Tell guard at gate that u r guests of Greg Peterson’s Moose Lodge on Witts Lake. Doesn’t that make you feel special? It should.

Peterson at his Rape Cabin

Ryan J. Reilly of TPM Muckraker reports that four of the attacks are said to have taken place in March, July and December in 2011 and April 2012; the time a fifth attack took place has not been made clear. One victim, a (Mormon) church acquaintance, says Peterson forced her inside his cabin after telling her he had a gun. Four of the victims testified that Peterson had fondled them over their clothing without their consent.

CNN adds:

Four separate times, prosecutors say, Gregory Peterson lured women under the pretext of a movie or lunch — and sexually assaulted them. He kept one captive in his mother’s house for several days, they said. He threatened to report another, whose visa had expired, for deportation, charging documents alleged. And in each case, authorities said, he forced the women to engage in sex acts by pointing to guns he possessed. […]

The first woman, identified only as S.M., described meeting Peterson at a church event in March 2011 and agreeing to go to a movie with him. Instead of going to the theater, she said, he drove her to his cabin, assaulting her both on the drive and during the night. The woman said she was scared because there were weapons both in the car and in his cabin. Peterson drove her back to her car the next morning, she said.

The other women said they met Peterson online. One said Peterson asked her to dinner in July 2011 but instead drove her to his cabin, sexually assaulting her on the way and through the night. She said he talked about her expired visa and threatened to deport her. Peterson then drove her to his mother’s house and kept her there for three days before driving her home and assaulting her again, she said. […]

A bail bondsman found Peterson in his Wasatch County cabin Tuesday evening while checking on him because his ankle monitor signal was getting weak, Sheriff Todd Bonner said.

Peterson claimed to have an MBA in Finance from Brigham Young University, and also claimed that he was a certified financial planner who owned an Orem-based wealth management company and an online trading website.

Was this taken during the Summer Games, perchance? Hmm. I also like how his Facebook avatar has Romney in it.

Republicans are busily trying to play down Peterson’s connections with many prominent GOP politicians, one in particular: Mitt Romney.

According to DailyKOS:

Peterson has billed himself online as a “close personal friend of the Romney family,” and posted video on Youtube of Romney speaking at a 2007 fundraiser at Romney’s home in Deer Valley. He contributed $2,300 to the Romney campaign that year. In addition, he posted several photos of himself and Romney on his Facebook page.

But Chaffetz, who said he has been at most of the Romney events in Utah over the last few years, said he never saw Peterson at any of them. “I seriously doubt” he is close with the Romneys, Chaffetz said. Peterson did attend a national call day in Las Vegas, where supporters were invited to come and make phone calls for the Romney campaign, Chaffetz said.

Oh, would that be Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz? The one shown here at Peterson’s cabin taking a picture with Peterson?

Picture from "Thump And Whip" website

Picture from “Thump And Whip” website

Chaffetz (R-UT) may “doubt” that Peterson was “close” to the Romneys (R-Oligarchistan), but Mitt Romney and Peterson have socialized at several VIP GOP events and fundraisers–including the Rocky Mountain Conservatives Convention and Barbecue held at his cabin–and Peterson had co-chaired a fundraiser specifically in honor of Romney as well.

For a sample of some of the GOP luminaries that have attended these events, here’s a post by Peterson on Facebook, promoting the Second Annual Rocky Mountain Conservatives Convention and Barbecue:

CONFIRMED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: SENATORS MICHAEL S. LEE AND ORRIN HATCH, GOV. GARY HERBERT. Congressman Chaffetz, CEO Patrick Byrne, Mayor Mia Love, Mayor David Phillips, Kirkham Motorsports CEO David Kirkham, tons of Mayors, State legislators, and many others prominent Conservatives.

Last year we mingled with Senator Mike Lee & Tim Bridgewater after a closely contested primary. We were also joined by Carl Wimmer of The Patrick Henry Caucus, Rep. Craig Frank, Rep. Curtis Oda, Rep. John Dougall, Megablogger now Rep. Holly Richardson, Cherilyn Eagar, Morgan Philpot, who nearly knocked off our nemesis Jim Matheson, the one and only Victor Shanti, and basically every other Conservative activist in Utah.

Attendee Julie Harmon posted 145 photos on SmugMug, if you want to see how prominent Republicans partied down at the Rape Cabin with Peterson.

DailyKOS also quotes this Tea Party website blurb about Peterson:

Greg Peterson, a close personal friend of the Romney family, discusses why liberty loving Latter-day Saints should support Mitt Romney for president. Greg expounds upon the fundamental principles Mitt will adhere to when making presidential decisions. Jeremy and JC question Greg on Mitt’s stance on key issues including government health care, income taxes, abortion, immigration, undeclared wars, the American empire, social security and the Federal Reserve.

Ain’t no party like a GOP party, ’cause a GOP party’s got freaks! (…Say what?)

The rush by Republican politicians to disavow any and all connection to or friendship with Peterson has been swift. Loop21’s Nadra Kareem Nittle reports:

Utah lawmakers are distancing themselves from the fundraiser. A spokesman for Sen. Mike Lee, Brian Phillips, is downplaying the idea that the legislator is a friend of Peterson after photos and videos of the men at Peterson’s cabin turned up online on Thursday. Phillips said  the relationship between the two men is professional. Moreover, he says that the senator and his staff are concerned for the victims of Peterson’s alleged attacks.

Another Loop21 article adds:

Prominent Utah politicians Peterson hosted include U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, Gov. Gary Herbert, U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz and others. […] While Peterson has been involved in state politics and events, Utah Republican Chairman Thomas Wright has said he never held a leadership role or raised or donated money for the state party. Some considered Peterson a self-styled Tea Party operative.

KSL Utah’s Dennis Romboy reported:

On his Facebook page, Peterson claim[ed] to be good friends with the Romney family and that he attended Brigham Young University with Josh Romney, the presidential candidate’s youngest son. He posted photos of himself with Mitt Romney and Josh Romney on Facebook. […]

In local Republican circles, Peterson apparently played the role of a wealthy conservative politico who claimed to have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for GOP candidates. […]

Utah Tea Party leader and former gubernatorial candidate David Kirkham described Peterson as “exuberant” in his political opinions. Peterson wrote a blog called the Conservative Moose and was prolific on Facebook. “He was kind of a familiar face to many people,” Kirkham said. […]

Peterson billed this past May’s conference as “the CPAC of the West,” a reference to the national Conservative Political Action Committee that draws thousands of activists to Washington, D.C., each year. The agenda included GOP attorney general candidates John Swallow and Sean Reyes in a Lincoln/Douglas-style debate at Wasatch High School. A barbecue featuring wild elk and a golf-into-the-lake contest followed at the cabin.

Utah’s Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis said that he hoped that Republicans would denounce the sexual assaults and ban Peterson from future events. Since Peterson has made the choice for them, the GOP will now not have to choose between the riskiness of being seen associating with Peterson (and his legal problems) again and turning down someone offering to raise a truckload of money for them. I’m sure it would have been a hard choice.

I assume that none of Peterson’s victims got pregnant from the assaults, because otherwise Peterson’s GOP buddies would be all up in the women’s personal business telling them that they should see Peterson’s attacks and the resulting pregnancies as “gifts from God,” and then they’d try to prevent them from getting abortions if they wanted them.

Also, as Thump And Whip writer toma says: “If a vicious violent lunatic rapist had been photographed with Obama, Pelosi and Franks, the conservative blogosphere would wallpaper the internet. But this is just another Republican. I think we’ve all grown used to the freaks being freaks.”

Now, enjoy a lovely photo album, full of Peterson and his Republican buddies:

Photo from Thump And Whip

Photo from Thump And Whip

Peterson with Mitt Romney

Peterson with Mitt Romney at Peterson’s cabin

Peterson and Romney

Sen. Mike Lee and Gov. Gary Herbert at Peterson’s cabin

Peterson with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)

Peterson with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the senior United States Senator for Utah

Romney palling around with Peterson AGAIN

Romney palling around with Peterson AGAIN

Peterson describing the above photo showing him with Romney (

Oh, look. It’s another picture of Mitt Romney with his pal Greg Peterson.

Peterson with Josh Romney (

Sarasota Springs, Utah Mayor Mia Love, 4th Congressional District candidate, giving a speech at Peterson’s cabin

Mayor Mia Love with Gov. Gary Herbert at Peterson’s cabin

Peterson with Carl Wimmer, former state representative

Greg with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Peterson with Ron Paul

Peterson with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)

Some interesting info about Peterson’s Republican buddies and their views on rape and abortion:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz: “I believe all human life is sacred. I support overturning Roe v. Wade to allow states the right to set their own abortion policies. Utah should have the right to ban abortions.”

  • Voted YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion.
  • Chaffetz signed H.R.5939, a bill to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions and to provide for conscience protections, and for other purposes.
  • Chaffetz signed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.
  • Chaffetz co-sponsored Sanctity of Human Life Act: “personhood” begins at conception.
  • Chaffetz co-sponsored Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would prohibit funding for groups like Planned Parenthood.
  • Chaffetz signed Taxpayer Conscience Protection Act, a bill to require States to report information on Medicaid payments to abortion providers.

Rep. Ron Paul:

  • Morning-after pill same as birth control pill; not immoral. (Feb 2012)
  • Right to privacy is explicit, but not for contraception. (Jan 2012)
  • More laws don’t solve problems on abortion. (Sep 2011)
  • Efforts to fund abortion ranks among stupidest policies. (Apr 2011)
  • Deregulate the adoption market. (Apr 2011)
  • Abortion laws should be a state-level choice. (Apr 2011)
  • Abortion causes inconsistent moral basis for value of life. (Apr 2011)
  • Day-after pill allows individual moral choice. (Apr 2011)
  • Abortion is murder. (Apr 2008)
  • Roe v. Wade decision was harmful to the Constitution. (Apr 2008)
  • Define life at conception in law, as scientific statement. (Feb 2008)
  • Protecting the life of the unborn is protecting liberty. (Feb 2008)
  • Get the federal government out of abortion decision. (Nov 2007)
  • Delivered 4000 babies; & assuredly life begins at conception. (Sep 2007)
  • Nominate only judges who refuse to legislate from the bench. (Sep 2007)
  • Save “snowflake babies”: no experiments on frozen embryos. (Sep 2007)
  • No tax funding for organizations that promote abortion. (Sep 2007)
  • Embryonic stem cell programs not constitutionally authorized. (May 2007)

Sen. Marco Rubio:

  • Pro-life, but understands that woman’s right is the law. (Jun 2012)
  • Expand birth control exemption for faith-based organizations. (Jun 2012)
  • Opposed Sotomayor nomination based on her Roe support. (Jun 2012)
  • No right to privacy, that resulted in the Roe v. Wade. (Feb 2010)
  • Require ultrasounds before performing abortions. (Feb 2010)
  • Voted against funding stem cell research. (Apr 2006)
  • Opposes both federal abortion funding & judicial activism. (Aug 2010)
  • Supports prohibiting human embryonic stem cell research. (Aug 2010)
  • Supports giving legal protection to unborn children. (Sep 2010)
  • Prohibit federal funding for abortion. (May 2011)

Gov. Gary Herbert: Don’t criminalize woman seeking illegal forms of abortion.

Last May, a 17-year-old girl, seven months pregnant, paid a man $150 to beat her up in hopes of inducing a miscarriage. The fetus survived the assault and was born in August. The attacker went to jail. And the girl became the center of a bill that would formally criminalize what she did, that is, to seek an illegal abortion.

Gov. Herbert has said he agrees generally with the bills goals but is still studying the particulars: Utah would still allow legal abortions performed by a doctor. But it would go further than any other state in mapping out when a woman is criminally liable for trying to end a pregnancy through other means or self-infliction.

Critics say legislation inspired by an unusual, perhaps even freakish criminal case, could open up a vast frontier around the question of intent and responsibility and give local prosecutors huge new powers to inquire about a woman’s intentions toward her unborn child. [Gov. Herbert vetoed the bill on March 8, 2010].

Sen. Orrin Hatch:

  • Benefit of saving lives outweighs destroying stem cells. (Nov 2010)
  • Both pro-life and pro-stem cell research. (Jul 2001)
  • Abortions cause a societal insensitivity to life. (Dec 1999)
  • No litmus tests: no one issue should define appointments. (Jul 1999)
  • Appoint conservative judges without litmus tests. (Jun 1999)
  • Voted YES on restricting UN funding for population control policies. (Mar 2009)
  • Voted YES on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
  • Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
  • Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
  • Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
  • Voted YES on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on banning human cloning. (Feb 1998)
  • Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
  • Rated 75% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)
  • Prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortion. (Jan 2008)
  • Prohibit federal funding for abortion. (May 2011)

Sen. Jim DeMint:

  • No funding for Planned Parenthood; protect the unborn. (Jan 2012)
  • Voted YES on restricting UN funding for population control policies. (Mar 2009)
  • Voted YES on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
  • Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
  • Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. (Feb 2004)
  • Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life. (Oct 2003)
  • Voted YES on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)
  • Voted YES on funding for health providers who don’t provide abortion info. (Sep 2002)
  • Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
  • Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)
  • Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 100% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-life stance. (Dec 2006)
  • Apply 14th amendment protections to pre-born fetuses. (Jun 2008)
  • Opposes both federal abortion funding & judicial activism. (Aug 2010)
  • Supports prohibiting human embryonic stem cell research. (Aug 2010)
  • Prohibit federal funding for abortion. (May 2011)
  • Declare preborn as persons under 14th amendment. (Feb 2009)

Sen. Mike Lee:

  • Return to states the power to protect unborn human life. (Jul 2010)
  • Prohibit federal funding for abortion. (May 2011)

Former Gov. Mitt Romney:

  • Courts added tax-paid abortions to RomneyCare; not me. (Jan 2012)
  • I had no litmus test for appointing judges, but I’m pro-life. (Jan 2012)
  • Scientifically, life begins at conception. (Jan 2012)
  • 1990: As church leader, urged at-risk mom against abortion. (Jan 2012)
  • 1994: Supported abortion rights but personally opposed. (Jan 2012)
  • Firmly pro-life; including Court nominations. (Jun 2011)
  • Abortion decision should recognize TWO lives involved. (Mar 2010)
  • OpEd: baroque circumlocutions on evolving abortion stance. (Aug 2009)
  • Supreme Court had said feds should stay out of abortion. (Dec 2007)
  • I took action as governor to preserve the sanctity of life. (Dec 2007)
  • No punishment for women who have partial birth abortions. (Dec 2007)
  • Two-step process: overturn Roe; then change hearts & minds. (Sep 2007)
  • Firmly in the “legal but rare” camp. (Aug 2007)
  • Following in Reagan’s footsteps in converting to pro-life. (Aug 2007)
  • Absolute good day for America when Roe v. Wade is repealed. (May 2007)
  • Personally pro-life, but government should not intrude. (May 2007)
  • Was effectively pro-choice until cloning changed his opinion. (May 2007)
  • Breach of Constitution for justices to adjust Constitution. (Mar 2007)
  • Now firmly pro-life, despite 2002 tolerance for abortion. (Dec 2006)
  • Anti-abortion views have “evolved & deepened” while governor. (Jul 2005)
  • Personally against abortion, but pro-choice as governor. (Mar 2002)
  • For safe, legal abortion since relative’s death from illegal. (Oct 1994)


  • Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives. (Oct 2012)
  • Church employee birth control violates religious conscience. (Feb 2012)
  • MA churches can choose to not provide morning-after pills. (Feb 2012)
  • 2002: No to new abortion law; yes to emergency contraception. (Jan 2012)
  • States shouldn’t ban contraception; and no state wants to. (Jan 2012)
  • 1993: Morning-after pill could make abortions obsolete. (Nov 2011)
  • Contraception is a personal choice; but advocate abstinence. (Nov 2011)
  • Vetoed emergency contraception for rape victims. (Jul 2005)

    Stem Cells

  • Stem-cell cloning breaches an ethical boundary. (Jan 2012)
  • 2004: Stem cell research ok, if privately funded. (Nov 2011)
  • Outlaw embryo farming, but allow using surplus embryos. (Dec 2007)
  • Altered nuclear transfer instead of embryonic stem cells. (May 2007)
  • Stem cell research lofty goals don’t justify destroying life. (Mar 2007)
  • Vetoed stem cell research bill. (May 2005)

    Voting Record

  • Would be delighted to sign federal ban on all abortions. (Nov 2007)
  • 2005: Vetoed availability without Rx of morning-after pill. (Aug 2007)
  • Would welcome overturning Roe v. Wade. (Mar 2007)
  • Committed to not change law on abortion as Gov., and did not. (Mar 2007)
  • Opposes Roe v Wade, but won’t tamper with abortion laws. (Dec 2006)
  • Endorsed legalization of RU-486. (Mar 2002)


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