- The Washington Times - Monday, May 14, 2018

Missouri prosecutors have dropped their criminal case against Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, blaming a judge’s ruling that the state’s chief prosecutor would have to take the stand and testify in the case.

The governor had been accused of invasion of privacy for taking a nude picture of the woman with whom he’d been having an affair.

According to a statement put out by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office on Monday, the decision came after the judge in the case ruled that Mr. Greitens‘ legal team would be allowed to call Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to the stand for questioning.

The defense team has accused Ms. Gardner of misconduct in the case, citing her hiring of a private investigator.

“The court’s order leaves the Circuit Attorney no adequate means of proceeding with this trial. Therefore, the court has left the Circuit Attorney with no other legal option than to dismiss and refile this matter,” the office said in a statement.

Opening statements had been expected Monday, with jury selection entering its third and final day.

In a statement, Mr. Greitens declared victory, saying “the prosecutor dropped the false charges against me. This was a great victory and a long time coming. I’ve said from the beginning that I am innocent.”

He added: “We have a great mission before us. And at this time, I’d ask people of goodwill to come together so that we may continue to do good together.”

The prosecutor’s office has other ideas, though, saying they still want to bring charges against the governor, but may appoint a special prosecutor to do so later.

“The Circuit Attorney will make a decision to either pursue a special prosecutor or make an appointment of one of her assistants to proceed,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Mr. Greitens has called the case a “witch hunt” and rebuffed resignation demands from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Jefferson City.

The governor has been accused by his hairdresser — a woman with whom he has acknowledged having an extramarital affair — of taking a nude cell-phone photo of her while she was bound and blindfolded, and threatening to release it if she ever talked.

Prosecutors have acknowledged not having the reported photo.

Missouri law defines a felony invasion of privacy as occurring whenever a compromising photo is taken “in a manner that allows access to that image via computer.” Prosecutors said the mere taking of a cell-phone photo meets that definition.


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