Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens indicted on felony charge

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday on a felony charge for invasion of privacy and was taken into custody in St. Louis.

The grand jury indictment follows the allegations of Greitens’ 2015 extramarital affair, which surfaced last month in an audio recording. The charges are for an event described in the recording, in which Greitens took a photo of a nude woman without her knowledge and then threatened to release the photo if she went public about the affair.

In the state of Missouri it is a misdemeanor to take a photo of someone nude or partially nude, without their knowledge, in a place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. The crime becomes a felony if someone uploads the picture to a computer.

The woman, known only as K.S., has been said to be Greitens’ former hairstylist. Their affair allegedly ended before 2016. Initially, Greitens admitted to the affair, but denied abuse or blackmail.

After being released, Greitens took to Facebook, again admitting to the affair, but claiming, “I did not commit a crime,” and announcing that he intends to fight the charge against him.

The post also took aim at the prosecutor on the case and Missouri’s justice system as a whole when the Governor said, “With today’s disappointing and misguided political decision, my confidence in our prosecutorial system is shaken, but not broken. I know this will be righted soon. The people of Missouri deserve better than a reckless liberal prosecutor who uses her office to score political points.”

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who Greitens took aim at, said in a press release that holding public officials accountable is of the utmost importance. Her words, as quoted by St. Louis Public Radio, makes clear that no Missourian is above the law,

“[People] must know that the Office of the Circuit Attorney will hold public officials accountable in the same manner as any other resident of our city,” Gardner said. “Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.”

Since the affair came to light, many Missouri Democrats have been calling for Greitens’ resignation, with these pleas intensifying after his indictment. However, it is Missouri law that Greitens can stay in office unless convicted of a crime.

The Governor can be impeached by the Missouri state legislator; however, a Missouri governor has never been removed from office by impeachment.

 

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