Missouri governor indicted on felony invasion of privacy charges after being accused of blackmail during extramarital affair

  • Republican Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri has been indicted on felony invasion-of-privacy charges.
  • A statement from a Circuit Attorney’s office in St. Louis cites an incident “that took place on March 21, 2015.”
  • Greitens, who admitted to an extramarital affair, was previously accused of taking a compromising picture of a woman he allegedly had an affair with in order to use “as blackmail.”

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri has been indicted on felony invasion of privacy charges, according to a statement from a Circuit Attorney’s office in St. Louis on Thursday afternoon.

“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,” the Circuit Attorney’s statement said. “They must know that the Office of the Circuit Attorney will hold public officials accountable in the same manner as any other resident.”

Greitens was taken into custody and booked on Thursday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was later released and is due back in court on March 16, according to The Post-Dispatch.

Greitens was previously accused of taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he has admitted to having an extramarital affair, according to an investigation by CBS affiliate KMOV. The woman’s ex-husband alleged that the affair happened in March 2015, and that Greitens took a picture of the woman he intended to use as blackmail.

Eric greitensKMOV via St. Louis Police DepartmentA mug shot of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

In an audio recording between the ex-husband and his wife at the time, the wife reportedly said that her sexual encounter with Greitens was consensual and that Greitens later apologised and told her he had deleted the compromising photo.

The Post-Dispatch, which reported it had listened to the recording and interviewed the ex-husband, said the woman described herself in the recording as being blindfolded and partly undressed in the photo. In the recording, the woman reportedly said that her sexual encounter with Greitens was consensual and that Greitens later apologised and told her he had deleted the photo.

Greitens, who publicly acknowledged the affair in January, said in a joint statement with his wife, Sheena, that the affair took place “a few years ago,” before his 2016 election, and that it was a “deeply personal mistake.”

“Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately,” the statement said, according to KMOV. “While we never would have wished for this pain in our marriage, or the pain that this has caused others, with God’s mercy Sheena has forgiven and we have emerged stronger.

“We understand that there will be some people who cannot forgive – but for those who can find it in your heart, Eric asks for your forgiveness, and we are grateful for your love, your compassion, and your prayers.”

Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, had been seen as a rising star in political circles. At 43, he is the second-youngest governor in the country and appeared to hint at loftier political ambitions. A local St. Louis news outlet noted that Greitens had previously reserved the web address “EricGreitensForPresident.com.”

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