Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday afternoon by a St. Louis grand jury on felony invasion of privacy.
The charges stem from a 2015 affair and allegations that he threatened to release a nude photograph of the woman, taken while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound, if she ever spoke publicly about the affair.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched a criminal investigation of the allegations last month shortly after they become public.
“As I have stated before, it is essential for residents of the city of St. Louis and our state to have confidence in their leaders,” Gardner said in a statement. “They 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. Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.
Greitens could not be immediately reached for comment.
The allegations against Greitens surfaced shortly after he delivered his annual State of the State address last month. The ex-husband of the woman with whom Greitens had an affair gave St. Louis TV station KMOV an audio recording of her confessing the affair and accusing Greitens of threatening to blackmail her.
The woman involved in the matter has not made a comment and has repeatedly declined to participate in any news articles. The confession was recorded without her knowledge by her ex-husband and released to the media without her consent.
Greitens hired the St. Louis law firm Dowd Bennett to represent him in the circuit attorney’s criminal inquiry. In the last week, a former St. Louis circuit judge was added to his legal team, and Dowd Bennett hired a statehouse lobbyist who is employed by longtime GOP consultant Jeff Roe’s firm.
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SOURCE: Kansas City Star, Jason Hancock, Bryan Lowry and Lindsay Wise