Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Missouri Governor Arrested, Indicted On Felony Charge

Missouri Governor Arrested, Indicted On Felony Charge

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was briefly taken into custody on Thursday after being indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge in connection with an extramarital affair and a blackmail allegation involving the Republican politician, officials said.

A judge said Greitens could be released on his own personal recognizance and is allowed to travel, according to Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.

An investigation into Greitens' behavior was opened in January following his admittance of an affair he was having, beginning in March 2015.

'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.

Legally, Greitens can continue to serve as governor until he is actually convicted on the charges. Greitens subsequently transmitted the image in a way to allow it to be accessible by computer, the indictment said.

Eric Greitens has been indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge. The charges against my client are baseless and unfounded. He was later released and is due back in court on March 16, according to The Post-Dispatch.

More than a month after the blackmail allegations went public, the St. Louis prosecutor's criminal probe of Greitens hangs over the Missouri Capitol.

Greitens' legal team immediately filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds that any relationship with the woman was consensual.

Greitens has admitted to the affair but has denied the blackmail accusations.

News of the indictment sparked calls for Greitens' resignation or impeachment by some state lawmakers, including at least one Republican, the Kansas City Star reported.

There was nothing in the initial allegation to indicate that Greitens ever followed through on the alleged threat to disseminate the photo, and in fact the woman said later in the secretly recorded conversation that he'd later told her he'd erased it. The woman's ex-husband alleged that the affair happened in March 2015, and that Greitens took a picture of the woman he meant to use as blackmail.

Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh said it was time for the state to "take a stand".

This will not for a moment deter me from doing the important work of the great people of Missouri.

She told her now ex-husband in the audio recording that she "saw a flash through the blindfold and he [Mr Greitens] said, "You're never going to mention my name".

"It will be extremely hard for the governor to effectively do his job with a felony indictment hanging over his head", Beatty said in a statement.

This is a developing story.

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