Criminal Justice

Missouri governor criticizes 'reckless liberal prosecutor' who charged him

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens/

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is blasting the prosecutor who obtained a felony indictment against him for invasion of privacy.

Greitens is accused of trying to blackmail his former mistress by taking a partially nude photo of her without her knowledge and consent, report the Springfield News-Leader, USA Today, Courthouse News Service, the Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have stories. The photo was transmitted “in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer,” the indictment said.

Taking a photo without consent is a misdemeanor under the invasion of privacy law, but it becomes a felony if the photo is transmitted in a way that allows access to a computer, the Post-Dispatch explains.

Greitens has previously admitted that he had an affair with his hair stylist, but has denied past allegations that he tied the woman up with her consent, photographed her without her consent, and threatened to release the photo if she disclosed the affair.

Greitens, a Republican, said he is innocent of the charge and took to Facebook to criticize the Democratic prosecutor, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

“With today’s disappointing and misguided political decision, my confidence in our prosecutorial system is shaken, but not broken,” he wrote. “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. I look forward to the legal remedies to reverse this action.”

Greitens is represented by the Dowd Bennett law firm, which has filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the day it was released. The motion says the privacy law was intended to apply to “voyeurs or peeping toms who take photographs in locations such as restrooms, tanning beds, locker rooms, changing rooms and bedrooms. The law does not apply to the participants in sexual activity” in a person’s home, the motion says.

The dismissal motion points to wording in the law that says a person commits invasion of privacy for knowingly photographing a person in a state of full or partial nudity “in a place where one would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

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