Attorneys representing Missouri Governor Eric Greitens in a felony invasion of privacy case struck out twice today. St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison denied two requests made by the legal team for the Republican governor.
The defense argued that Greitens deserves a bench trial, not a jury trial. His lawyers say there has been too much pre-trial publicity and that could taint a jury. However, the judge sided with the prosecution and denied the defense’s request for a judge to decide the outcome of the case. Despite the ruling, former U.S. attorney and Greitens defense attorney Ed Dowd is looking ahead.
“We’re very happy with having a jury and just look forward to a speedy and a fair trial, which I know we’ll get here,” Dowd told reporters after today’s hearing in St. Louis.
The defense also argued for the dismissal of the felony indictment against the governor. Greitens’ attorneys claim the prosecution misled the grand jury about Missouri’s invasion of privacy law when describing what was done with the photo the governor allegedly took of his former mistress.
Defense lawyer Jim Martin, a former U.S. attorney, also stated in his argument that there’s no evidence the photo exists or that it was transferred. He made reference to Greitens’ former mistress telling the grand jury that she never saw a camera during the sexual encounter.
The disrobed woman was allegedly tied up to a piece of exercise equipment and blindfolded while Greitens took the picture. She told her ex-husband that the governor threatened to blackmail her with the image if she spoke of the romance. Greitens then told the woman that he erased the image. The governor is accused of transmitting the picture in a manner that allowed access to the image via computer.
The prosecution responded to the defense’s argument that the transmission of the alleged photo can be “circumstantially inferred from the use of the iPhone” because “devices know how to transmit to the cloud.”
The affair happened while Greitens was campaigning for governor in 2015. Greitens has confessed to the extramarital relationship but has denied the blackmail accusation.
The trial begins May 14 in St. Louis.
By Alisa Nelson and Missourinet contributor Jill Enders.