Missouri’s Governor Has Been Indicted For Invasion Of Privacy After Allegedly Blackmailing His Mistress

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Until about a month ago, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ only brush with national notoriety came from running bizarre 2016 campaign ads that featured gunfire and nothing else. That all changed when he publicly admitted to cheating on his wife with a mistress who accused him of blindfolding and restraining her before slapping her and taking a nude photo — with which he allegedly tried to blackmail her.

All of this reportedly went down in 2015, and Greitens reportedly used the image to guarantee the woman’s silence, but she told her husband, who released audio of that conversation to the press. Although Greitens maintained that all physical contact with the woman was consensual, he allegedly violated a Missouri law that classifies transmitting “a non-consensual image showing nudity” in a way that can be accessed through a computer as a felony. A grand jury has determined that there was probable cause to charge Greitens under that statute, and he was swiftly arrested:

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office announced the grand jury indictment Thursday afternoon. A Post-Dispatch reporter saw Greitens being led down a hallway by several St. Louis city deputies on the first floor of the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis at about 3:45 p.m. Officials later confirmed Greitens had been taken into custody and then booked at the St. Louis Justice Center.

Greitens, a Republican, declared his innocence in a written statement, and alleged the indictment is a “misguided political decision” by a “reckless liberal prosecutor.” Gardner is a Democrat. Greitens’ legal team immediately filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, on grounds that any activity Greitens engaged in was “consensual.”

The governor is now out on bond (until his March 16 court date), but obviously, his political career is imploding. He’s cancelled his trip to weekend’s annual National Governors Association meeting in D.C., and the Missouri House has moved to examine the indictment and possibly begin impeachment proceedings, maybe even before the case goes to court. What a mess.

(Via St. Louis Dispatch)