A Missouri judge will be asked to determine whether a woman has a reasonable expectation of privacy when she is naked, blindfolded and tied up at a man’s house.
Judging from a motion filed this week by a defense attorney in the felony invasion of privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that may be the key to his defense.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens earlier this month after a recording surfaced of his hairdresser telling her ex-husband how Greitens had treated her when she went to his home in 2015 for their first sexual encounter.
The recording was released by St. Louis station KMOV on the night Greitens delivered his first State of the State address.
The woman, who has not been named and is referred to as K. S. in court documents, said she went to Greitens’ home at a time when his wife and children were gone. When she was naked and blindfolded, she saw a flash through the blindfold and said Greitens warned her everyone would see the photo if she ever said a word about their relationship.
While Greitens has admitted to the affair, he has denied the blackmail allegation.
In his motion, attorney James F. Bennett said a photo taken during a consensual sexual activity was not a crime. Bennett printed the invasion of privacy law in his motion putting the words “in a place where one would have a reasonable expectation of privacy” in bold.
Bennett said the law was meant for people who took photos of people in such places as bathrooms or tanning beds or locker rooms without consent.
As Bennett is battling for Greitens in the courtroom, the governor and his supporters, including the Missouri Republican Party, have labeled the indictment as a “witch hunt,” blaming liberals and billionaire George Soros, who in 2016 contributed $200,000 to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, the Democrat who filed the charges against the Republican governor.
The charge received national exposure, including from the conservative website Breitbart, which accused Gardner of being a lawyer “in desperate search of a crime” and indicated she was heading toward a meaningless show trial designed to embarrass Greitens and Republicans.
Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Sam Cooper, in a February 23 news release printed in The Hill, said Soros was getting his money’s worth from Gardner with the Greitens indictment.
Greitens has also issued statements in his own defense, calling Gardner a “reckless liberal prosecutor” who was out to “score political points.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Missouri House of Representatives has formed a five-member committee to investigate allegations against the governor.
The committee, which includes three Republicans and two Democrats, will consider whether there is enough evidence to consider impeaching Greitens.
Prior to his recent legal problems, Greitens was considered a rising national star and made no secret of his aspirations, having already paid for an “Eric Greitens for President” web domain.