Accused Utah rapist commits suicide

Nov. 25, 2012 at 6:12 PM
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HEBER, Utah, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A Utah man accused of sexually assaulting or raping five women committed suicide and left a note proclaiming his innocence, his attorney said.

Greg Peterson, 37, committed suicide at his Heber cabin Oct. 23 -- just days after posting $2 million bail, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday.

Peterson, a political activist, was facing charges that he had sexually assaulted or raped five women.

"To my family/friends, someday, albeit not now, I believe you'll see I'm doing the right thing by ending the extraordinary pain to you, and exposing lies & injustices. I love you all very much. I'll miss you," Peterson wrote in his suicide note, released by his attorney.

He wrote that, after his death, an investigation could begin into what he said are false allegations against him, perhaps through a wrongful death suit and subpoena power.

"Make my accusers famous, so you can reveal their lies, their motives, their history," Peterson wrote.

Peterson's attorneys, Cara Tangaro and Jerry Salcido, released the suicide note, saying making it public "is one way to let Greg finally speak out."

In his note, Peterson alleged that he was falsely accused by five women, "but what the public does not know is that one of his 'victims' has accused three other men of rape in addition to Greg; another 'victim's' own brother revealed that she wanted to marry Greg in hopes of getting a visa to stay in the United States; and, yet another 'victim,' immediately after Greg allegedly assaulted her, posed for a picture with him smiling and happy and spoke to Greg's phone camera in good spirits," the attorneys said in an email.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who has seen the letter, said the case against Peterson was handled like any other.

"He seems to be blaming everyone else but himself," Gill said.

"There was no conspiracy or anything like that. What it was was putting multiple cases together. ... It took tremendous courage for these victims to come forward. We certainly believe their statements and based on the strength of the evidence, we had filed our charges.To us this was like any other case and we put it together with the same diligence."

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