Thursday, August 16, 2012

Losing Faith

Cara Tangaro is unlike any lawyer I've ever met.  She says what is on her mind, and in her case file.

She is also one of two attorneys for Greg Peterson, a high-powered, big money fund raiser for the GOP in Utah.

He is, at last count, accused of raping or sexually assaulting 5 different women, police in Wasatch County are investigating three other possible victims as well.

Tangaro, will tell you, to your face, and on tape, that the case against her client is weak, and she's not afraid to call out the women making the accusations.  One of the alleged victims who says she was raped by Peterson, has, we are told, accused three other men of rape as well.  Tangaro says "she is either the unluckiest woman on earth or something else is going on."

Another of the alleged victims says Peterson kidnapped her, forced her to go to his mother's house and raped the woman over several days.  Tangaro, says after the rape, the woman contacted Peterson on Facebook, and went on several other dates with him as well.

Tangaro, representing a staunch Republican, admits proudly, in a state, that is overwhelmingly Republican, that she is a registered Democrat, and she says, this case is steeped in religion.

All the victims are proud members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or more commonly, the Mormons.

In many cases, Peterson met them on LDS dating websites, LDS cruises or at church.  Tangaro supposes that the woman knowingly and willing had sex with Peterson, but later had, "buyers remorse," her words.

Prosecutor Joseph Hill says yes, religion played a part in this case, but not on the side of regret, but of aggression.

Hill says Peterson was quick to point out to his alleged victims, his high position in the LDS Church, the assistant DA says Peterson used this as a way to draw in his victims.

I actually spoke to one of the accusers earlier this week.  The widow and mother of five met Peterson on an LDS cruise.  She says sometime later he would expose himself to her and force her to touch his penis, perhaps to his chagrin, she had a conceal carry permit, and possibly even more to his chagrin, she had a holstered handgun strapped to her side.  When the woman placed her hand on her holstered gun and told him to take her home, that's exactly what he did, she says.

She also told me a story that disturbs everyone who hears it.  Just minutes before he allegedly assaults  her, Peterson insists on giving the widow an LDS blessing, in the blessing he prays for her fertility, and that she will someday come back into the fold.  About an hour later, she says, he will be showing her his hand gun, and demanding that she touch his erect penis.

Tangaro has not been retained for this particular case, but it is likely she will be, and chances are, she'll have a few choice words about it as well.

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