Judge refuses to change trial date for Missouri Gov. Greitens

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis judge has refused to move up the felony trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Greitens was indicted last month on fourth-degree invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he was having an affair in 2015, before he was elected. He has denied criminal wrongdoing.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens takes part in an interview in his office inside the Capitol Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Jefferson City, Mo. Greitens discussed having an extramarital affair in 2015 before taking office. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The trial is scheduled to begin May 14. Attorneys for Greitens asked Circuit Judge Rex Burlison to move up the trial to the first week of April. Burlison, at a hearing on Wednesday, declined to do so.

Greitens’ attorneys also requested that a judge, not a jury, determine his fate. In a court filing this week, Greitens’ attorney James Martin cites concern about “finding jurors untainted by the negative press” against the governor.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, opposes the bench trial.

Burlison did not rule Wednesday on that request. Instead, another hearing is scheduled for Monday.