Missouri Governor Greitens bows out of weekend governors’ conference; attorneys file motion to dismiss indictment

WASHINGTON — Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has resigned from the executive committee of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), the association’s president confirmed on Friday. The RGA is holding its winter meeting this weekend in Washington and Greitens also decided he will not attend that.

“Governor Greitens informed us last night that he is going to remain in Missouri this weekend to fight back against what his team has called a baseless charge, and will not be attending the RGA’s winter meeting in Washington.,” said Paul Bennecke, RGA’s executive director. “Given his desire to focus his full attention on moving forward in Missouri, he also no longer intends to serve on the Executive Committee of the RGA. We look forward to a quick resolution of this issue. Our thoughts and prayers are with Governor Greitens and his family.”

Late Thursday afternoon, a St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens for felony invasion of privacy.

In January, right after Greitens’ State of the State address, KMOV-TV in St. Louis broke the story about Greitens’ affair with his St. Louis hairdresser.  The woman’s ex-husband also said Greitens took a compromising picture of her that the man claimed Greitens planned to use against her if she went public with the affair.

Greitens released a statement saying he made a mistake in March 2015 before he was elected but “did not commit a crime.” He accused the Democratic prosecutor of playing politics. His attorneys have filed a motion to get the indictment dismissed.  The basis of their argument for dismissal is that Greitens and his mistress were involved in a consensual relationship.

“No appellate case law exists approving criminal convictions where individuals involved were jointly participating in sexual activity. Nor has case law ever affirmed a conviction where the ‘victim’ was in the home of the other person to engage in private sexual activity with that other person…. Any effort to apply it to a situation between two people engaged in consensual sexual activity would be unprecedented, improper, and permit the criminalization of routine activity between consenting adults. It would also be open to abuse by vindictive third parties,” the motion to dismiss says.

“The law.. applies to situations such as voyeurs or peeping toms who take photographs in locations such as restrooms, tanning salons, locker rooms, and bedrooms. The law does not apply to the participants in sexual activity,” Greitens’ attorneys argue.

The indictment means a grand jury believes there’s enough evidence (probable cause) to charge Greitens with invasion of privacy.  The indictment does not allege the governor shared the picture; only that he transferred it to a computer, making it accessible. Greitens is not charged with blackmail, which is what the ex-husband alleged.