Eric Greitens, the GOP Governor from Missouri, has been indicted on a charge of first degree felony invasion of privacy on Thursday, according to the Missouri court system. He has been charged in St. Louis with knowingly photographing a woman “in a state of full or partial nudity, without the knowledge and consent” of said woman and “in a place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
This news comes on the heels of looming allegations of sexual misconduct and blackmail after the governor admitted to an affair last month, according to CNN. However, Greitens maintains that there has been no crime, just a lapse in judgment in his personal life.
“As I have said before, I made a personal mistake before I was governor. I did not commit a crime,” Greitens said in a statement released on Thursday. “With today's disappointing and misguided political decision, my confidence in our prosecutorial system is shaken, but not broken. I know this will be righted soon. The people of Missouri deserve better than a reckless liberal prosecutor who uses her office to score political points. I look forward to the legal remedies to reverse this action. This will not for a moment deter me from doing the important work of the great people of Missouri.”
In January, Greitens confirmed that he had an extramarital affair before he was elected in 2016, according to NPR, but denied blackmailing “K.S.” (as the woman is identified in official court paperwork) into keeping their relationship secret. However, after news of the affair went public last month, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner opened an investigation into the case. Gardener said in a statement that it is essential for residents of Missouri to have confidence in their leaders.
“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,” she said in a quote from St. Louis Public Radio. “Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.”
Following the arrest, Greitens has possibly reached a stunning low in a career that had perviously been on an upward trajectory, according to The Washington Post. Previous to entering politics, he had graduated from Duke University, was selected as a Rhodes scholar to study at University of Oxford in England, earned a master’s degree in development studies and a PhD in politics. He also spent time doing volunteer work in Rwanda, Cambodia, and with Mother Teresa in India. He was also a Navy SEAL officer, serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Southeast Asia, and earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after September 11th.
Although his successful campaign for governor last year was his first run for public office, ericgreitensforpresident.com has been reserved since 2009 and it seems that Greitens had taken the domain out for himself long before running for governor.
Despite the governor’s statement that “I did not commit a crime,” his future now hangs in the balance. He has not yet resigned his post but, according to WDBJ7, the number of lawmakers that are demanding for him to resign is growing. Republican Senator Caleb Rowden, of Columbia, and Republican Representative Kevin Corlew, of Kansas City, have both come out to ask that Greiteins step down for the “sake of our state”, Rowden said, because he can no longer “effectively perform the duties of his office,” according to Corlew.