A St. Louis grand jury today indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge.
The St. Louis City prosecuting attorney has been investigating the governor since word of Greitens’ extramarital affair first surfaced prior to his State of the State Address in January.
The affair was first revealed in an investigative report by St. Louis station KMOV. While Greitens admitted to having an affair with the woman, who was his hairdresser, he has denied the more salacious parts of KMOV’s report, including taking photos of the woman.
The woman, who is referred to as K. S. in the indictment, allegedly told her husband about the affair and he recorded the confession and shared it with KMOV.
The woman told her husband, who has since divorced her, that her first sexual encounter with Greitens took place at Greitens’ home at a time when the future governor’s wife and children were away. She said after she removed all of her clothing, Greitens put tape and a blindfold on her.
The woman said she saw a flash of light through the blindfold and Greitens told her if she ever told a word about their relationship to anyone, the photo “would be everywhere.’
Greitens told the woman he deleted the photo, she told her husband.
Today’s indictment, which was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, indicates that may not be the case.
“The defendant subsequently transmitted the image contained in the photograph in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.”
In his initial statement after the KMOV report, Greitens admitted to being unfaithful to his wife and said he had taken responsibility for what he had done. In the same statement, Greitens’ wife Sheena said she and the governor had a loving marriage and warned the media and anyone who wanted to spread gossip to “stay away from me and my children.”
The Kansas City Star reports that Greitens has been taken into custody and booked at the St. Louis Justice Center.
Greitens has not issued a statement since his arrest, but his lawyer, Edward L. Dowd Jr., criticized the indictment, saying the charges are “baseless and unfounded” and he would be filing a motion to dismiss.
St. Louis City Attorney Kim Gardner released a statement saying that public officials should be held accountable, just like any other citizen.
The investigation into Greitens also included interviews with approximately two dozen Missouri legislators, according to the Star.
Greitens, a Republican, does not appear to have much support from members of his own party, who this week overwhelmingly approved an amendment to a bill that would make revenge porn a felony.
Legislators from both parties have called for Greitens to resign.
If convicted, Greitens, who was elected on a family values platform, could be sentenced to as much as four years in prison.