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Peterson's attorneys fight bail increase

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SALT LAKE CITY — The attorneys for GOP activist Greg Peterson say their client's bail was unfairly raised at his preliminary hearing last week, and they want the increase stricken.

Last week, Peterson, 37, was ordered to stand trial in 3rd District Court on 25 charges, including 23 felonies. The charges stem from allegations that Peterson date raped or sexually abused four women.

At the conclusion of the two-day preliminary hearing, Judge Judith Atherton raised Peterson's bail from $750,000 to $2 million.

Monday, a motion to strike the order to increase the bail amount was filed in 3rd District Court. The defense claimed the request to raise the bail was made by Atherton on her own, without a request from either side.

"The court sua sponte (on its own) raised the issue of modifying the initial bail order by asking the state if it wished to increase bail," defense attorneys wrote in their motion.

Peterson's attorneys argued that:

  • They were not given sufficient notice of a bail hearing and didn't have time to prepare
  • No evidence was presented in court that showed a change in Peterson's circumstances that would constitute a bail change
  • The grounds for the bail increase were not sufficiently stated
  • The court failed to state its findings on the record

"Neither party submitted a written motion to modify bail, and there was no prior notice that there would be a bail hearing as part of the preliminary hearing," the defense wrote in its motion.

An arraignment hearing is set for Aug. 24.

Peterson also faces a charge of forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony, in Wasatch County. He will have an initial appearance on that charge Aug. 29.


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Pat Reavy


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