'He's going to kill me'; 4th woman testifies that Greg Peterson assaulted, raped her

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 15 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

GOP activist Greg Peterson, who is charged with sexually abusing multiple women he was dating, appears with his attorneys Cara Tangaro and Gerald Salcido during the second day of a preliminary hearing in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City Wednesday Aug. 15, 2012.

Al Hartmann,

SALT LAKE CITY — The woman said she was afraid for her life as she lay on the bed and watched as flies fell and died in the window sill.

"I remember laying there being completely scared," she said, describing the night she said she was forced to spend with Gregory Peterson at his cabin in Heber City.

"I didn't want him to get mad. I didn't want him to hurt me. I didn't want him to kill me. I was so scared of what he might do. I just wanted to go home."

The woman was the fourth alleged victim to testify against the GOP activist and offered some of the most harrowing testimony against the man accused of kidnapping, raping or abusing women he took on dates. She was the final woman to testify against Peterson, 37, during a two-day preliminary hearing.

Third District Judge Judith Atherton ultimately ruled that there was sufficient evidence to order Peterson to stand trial on 25 charges. She also raised his bail from $750,000 to $2 million.

The woman said she met Peterson the night of March 26, 2011, when she went to a tsunami fundraiser organized by single adults from an LDS ward. Peterson was a friend of a man she was talking to at the event and the three of them stuck together during the party until Peterson invited her to a movie.

Earlier in the night, she said Peterson offered to show her his LDS temple recommend, which she thought was strange. But she made the assumption that he was a man with "moral values" and left with Peterson after the other man declined to join them.

They got on the freeway and were making small talk about appropriate first date behavior when she realized she was no longer in an area she recognized. Peterson told her he was instead driving her to see a movie at his cabin in Heber City. She said she objected, explaining that she had to teach a church Primary class the next morning.

"He said, 'They'll be fine without you,'" she recounted. "I didn't know what to say. I was scared. I didn't know where he was taking me. It kind of scared me because I'd never been on this road."

She testified that Peterson soon started touching her leg and then announced that he had a gun and that he always carried a gun, patting the center console. She never actually saw a firearm then, but said she was afraid and started complying with Peterson's commands to touch him and kiss him while they drove.

"He wanted me to kiss his neck," she said.

"Did you kiss his neck?" prosecutor Thad May asked.

"Yes," she replied. "I was scared if I didn't — of the gun."

It was dark when they arrived at the cabin and she said she didn't know where she was or what the cabin really looked like. They walked past the couches and TV when they entered the home, and he ordered her into a bedroom.

"He told me he had guns, many guns, and that he always had them with him," she said. "He was mean. He was not how he was (before). He was not friendly."

The woman began to cry as she identified the bed that was in the room, where she said the sexual abuse began. She described numerous acts of abuse, rape and assault, coupled with physical abuse and crude, demeaning language.

She said in the third and final series of events that night, the violence escalated until he had her hair in his hands and twisted it.

"It was this complete, immense pain," she said. "I remember thinking he was going to break my neck. I remember thinking, 'This is it. He's going to kill me.'"

Later, Peterson offered to hold the woman and she said she told herself to pretend that she was asleep and roll out of his grasp. But that only prompted him to draw her closer. She said he would sometimes break to play a song on the guitar, eat cereal or watch the TV show "Big Love."

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