Sobbing woman describes how 'the monster' Greg Peterson kidnapped, sexually abused her

2 other women also testify against GOP activist

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 14 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

GOP activist Greg Peterson, who is accused of multiple sexual offenses during dates, speaks with his defense attorneys Cara Tangaro and Gerald Salcido during a preliminary hearing in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City Tuesday Aug. 14, 2012.

Al Hartmann

SALT LAKE CITY — The woman struggled to speak through the shaking. And when the words came out, they were forced out over quick, sputtering breaths.

She appeared to be hyperventilating and began sobbing even before she took the witness stand Tuesday to testify against Gregory Nathan Peterson, 37. When she referred to the man, she simply called him "the monster."

"I don't remember times," she said, referring to repeated sexual abuse during the first night after he'd allegedly kidnapped her. "It happened over and over. He would flip me however he wanted. ... I never (got) to sleep. It was a night of torture."

She was one of three women who testified Tuesday at a preliminary hearing for the businessman and Republican activist charged with raping, kidnapping or sexually abusing women he was dating.

In testimony Tuesday the woman said she became acquainted with the Orem man on Facebook in June and they messaged back and forth several times until he invited her to a barbecue at his cabin in Heber City. She said they took a few pictures together and said almost nothing during the July 1, 2011, event, but he contacted her the next day and asked her to go to a movie with him.

When they arrived at the theater, she saw three friends there and asked Peterson if they could go see the same movie. She said he became "aggressive" and told her it was a date and that they would go to their own movie. Peterson, she testified, first became physical with her in the theater.

"He was all sexual," she recalled, struggling to speak clearly through quick, short breaths. "He would put his hands in between my legs and kept pulling me toward him."

Soon after, she said, he decided the movie was boring and told the woman he wanted to leave to go eat. She indicated it was late.

"He said that he was a powerful politician and that he checked my status and that I was (here) illegally," she testified, adding that Peterson told her that he had a weapon and showed her a box in his car where he said he kept the gun. "He said he had a weapon because he was a good man, and the only person I could trust was him from now on."

Peterson then drove her to his cabin in Heber City, where he forced her to watch a movie about Brazil that emphasized crime., she testified. He told her that her home country was "garbage" before he began touching her and calling her "all the nasty words he could think of," she said.

"I was trying to hold myself and my clothes," she testified. "He said he wasn't going to rape me."

Peterson eventually exposed himself to her and sexually abused her multiple times, she said.

"He would flip me over and would change positions like I was an object and he could do whatever he wanted," she said. "I was afraid of his aggression and violence."

The woman said Peterson wouldn't take her home and told her she needed to accompany him to his mother's house, where she would help his mother with a project without pay "because I was here illegally." She said the man made her touch him while they were driving.

The abuse continued after they arrived at Peterson's mother's Cache County home in Lewiston, where they stayed from July 3 to July 5, she said. The woman attended a Fourth of July parade there and did the work Peterson asked her to do.

She accompanied Peterson numerous places without trying to run or cry for help because he threatened to have her deported, she said. He told her he could make her "disappear" and she believed him because of "all the sexual abuse, the violence, the way he forced me to do things."

She said she tried to get help from a friend she saw at the parade, but didn't know the address of the mother's home. Peterson heard her try to give the location to her friend, she said, and Peterson got angry.

He ultimately took her home on July 5.

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