Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday afternoon by a St. Louis grand jury on a felony charge of invasion of privacy.
The charge stems from a 2015 affair and allegations that he threatened to release a nude photograph of the woman, taken while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound, if she ever spoke publicly about the affair.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched a criminal investigation of the allegations last month shortly after they become public. The indictment accuses Greitens of not only knowingly photographing the woman with whom he had an affair, but also transmitting the image “in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.”
After news of the indictment broke, Greitens was seen being led down a hallway in the local courthouse by several St. Louis city deputies, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Gardner’s office confirmed that Greitens was arrested and arraigned Thursday in St. Louis. He was later released on his own recognizance.
“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,” Gardner said in a statement. “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. Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.”
Greitens responded to the indictment on Facebook Thursday evening. He rejected the notion that he had done anything illegal and attacked the charges as politically motivated.
“As I have said before, I made a personal mistake before I was Governor. I did not commit a crime,” Greitens said.
“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,” he continued. “The people of Missouri deserve better than a reckless liberal prosecutor who uses her office to score political points.”
He promised to fight the indictment in court and gave no indication that he plans to step down.
His attorney, Edward L. Dowd Jr., denounced the charge.