Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has been accused of binding, blindfolding, and physically assaulting a woman during a non-consensual sexual encounter.
A legislative report on the accusations, which made no recommendations about Greitens' political future, was released on April 11. The report is the result of a weeks-long inquiry into the allegations, according to the Missouri House of Representatives website.
Greitens had admitted to an extramarital affair before he took office. The accusations had originally come from the victim's ex-husband, who released a secretly recorded conversation about the encounter.
Bipartisan calls for Greitens to step down from his position have since been issued. “There are definitely some questions about whether she consented,” said Republican State Representative Jean Evans, according to The New York Times. “Violence against women is never acceptable. Never ... It’s in the best interest of the state that he step aside."
Greitens has since made it clear that he is refusing to resign and has characterized the accusations as “tabloid trash, gossip."
“I want to say again what I’ve said from the beginning: This is a political witch hunt,” he said in a statement made at the State Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. “I will continue to serve the people of Missouri as their governor and to work for you every day. And they know, they need to know, that fake charges and falsehoods aren’t going to stop us.
In February, Greitens was indicted on a charge of first degree felony invasion of privacy. He is accused of non-consensually photographing the woman during the sexual encounter, and later threatening to release the photography.
A special committee formed in the wake of the accusations will decide whether or not to file articles of impeachment. In the history of the state of Missouri, no governor has ever been impeached.
The report states that in March of 2015, the unnamed victim was invited to Greitens' house where she was bound to exercise equipment with tape and physically abused. Greitens relented after she begged him to stop, according to her testimony. The two then allegedly engaged in coerced oral sex.
“It felt like consent, but, no, I didn’t want to do it,” said the victim in the report. “Coerced, maybe. I felt as though that would allow me to leave.”
In the report, the committee stated their belief in the victim's testimony.
Republican representative Shamed Dogan has been outspoken about his horror at the alleged events.
“It’s extremely disturbing and disgusting behavior,” said Dogan, according to The New York Times. “I hope the governor does the right thing for the state of Missouri and resigns because he’s shown he can’t be an effective leader, and he’s not doing that.”
Defense lawyers for Greitens had attempted to delay the release of the report. They argued that the contents of the report could taint a criminal trial. They have also attempted to argue that the victim may have dreamed the scenario with the non-consensual photograph, according to The New York Times.
Greitens maintains he will be vindicated in court.
“In 33 days, this will all come to an end because in the United States of America, you get your day in court,” he said.
[Photo: Eric Greitens by Michael Thomas / Getty Images]
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