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Greg Peterson, a GOP activist charged with 26 counts of sexual abuse, has committed suicide

Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill has confirmed

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 6:01 p.m. MDT

GOP activist Greg Peterson who is accused of multiple counts of rape and sexual abuse speaks with his defense attorneys Cara Tangaro and Gerald Salcido during a preliminary hearing in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City Aug. 15, 2012. (Al Hartmann, Al Hartmann,) GOP activist Greg Peterson who is accused of multiple counts of rape and sexual abuse speaks with his defense attorneys Cara Tangaro and Gerald Salcido during a preliminary hearing in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City Aug. 15, 2012. (Al Hartmann, Al Hartmann,)

SALT LAKE CITY Greg Peterson, a GOP activist who was charged with 26 counts of sexual abuse, has been confirmed dead as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sim Gill, Salt Lake County district attorney, confirmed that Wasatch County Sheriff's office discovered his body at his Timber Lakes subdivision in Wasatch County.

Peterson was released from jail Oct. 19 after posting bail using a bail bondsman. His bail was set at $2 million and he was required to pay 10 percent of that amount.

Peterson was charged with raping, kidnapping or assaulting women he met on dating websites. Several women claim he took them to his Heber cabin and intimidated or threatened them. Investigators say they have identified victims going all the way back to 2011.

Peterson had been a conservative activist until the allegations came to light in July of 2012. In the wake of longtime GOP senator Bob Bennett's loss in the primaries, Utah conservatives turned to fresh faces for fundraising efforts, among them Peterson.

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