Prosecutors in the felony invasion of privacy case against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens don’t have a key photo.
Greitens is alleged to have taken a compromising photo of a woman he was having an affair with, and then to have threatened to distribute it if she mentioned his name.
KTVI reports prosecutors yesterday admitted in court that they didn’t have the photo in which the woman is described to have been undressed, blindfolded and bound.
According to the TV station, prosecutors for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said they “plan to get that picture” after defense attorney Jim Bennett told a judge he’d just learned that “the photo doesn’t exist”.
During the scheduled hearing, KTVI reports Judge Rex Burlison set the trial for May 14th after prosecutors argued for a November 5th date, saying they needed more time to investigate and come up with the photo.
According to KTVI, Judge Burlison set the trial earlier because of its destructive impact on the entire state, and because it’s a low-level felony proceeding with just three witnesses.
Greitens, a Republican, has claimed Circuit Attorney Gardner, a Democrat, is “a reckless liberal prosecutor who uses her office to score political points”. A spokesperson for Gardner denied any political motivation to KTVI as the November date had more to do with the circuit attorney’s heavy caseload.
The TV station also reports the judge set a Monday (March 5) deadline for Greitens to request a change of venue, even though one of his attorneys said more time was needed in case “there are rallies in the streets” against the governor.
Greitens has admitted to the extramarital affair that took place in March 2015, before he became governor. He has not directly confirmed or denied taking the compromising photo or threatening the woman, who is identified in court documents by her initials K.S.
In a motion to dismiss the case last week, attorneys for Greitens did not deny he took the photo in question. In court documents, they contend the law does not apply to a situation where the photographed party knows he or she is being viewed by his or her partner who takes the photograph.
Judge Burlison did not issue a decision in the motion to dismiss petition Wednesday.