The lawyer representing the woman who is at the center of criminal charges against Republican Governor Eric Greitens has harshly criticized his defense team’s actions.
The defense released information to the media late Sunday night referencing testimony from Friday in which the woman said she hadn’t spoken about a phone because she may have remembered it through a “dream”.
In a statement issued Monday night, the woman’s attorney said Greitens has admitted multiple times to his client that he took her photo, without her consent and threatened to release it if she ever told anybody about the relationship.
Attorney Scott Simpson accused Greitens’s team of mischaracterizing her testimony in the Friday interview. After initially urging privacy for his client when the scandal broke out in late January, Simpson now says her silence has allowed false and misleading statements to go unanswered.
St. Louis-based TV station KMOV first reported an affair between the woman and Greitens along with the alleged incident between them which is said to have taken place in 2015.
In his Monday night statement, Simpson offered support for a motion to release a complete transcript of his client’s Friday testimony. Simpson said Governor Greitens needs to, “take responsibility for his actions and be honest about the fact that he took my client’s photograph without her consent.”
He echoed a statement made by the prosecution earlier Monday by claiming the governor is attempting to try the case in the media.
Prosecution spokesperson Susan Ryan told Missourinet Monday that the defense team has cherry-picked bits and pieces of the woman’s nine-hour testimony from Friday to attack her credibility in public. “This has been a defense team tactic from day one, is to try to use the media to get their messages out,” said Ryan.
Indicating that the prosecution might not seek a more complete public release of the woman’s testimony, Ryan said, “We look forward to the day in court.”
St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison has sealed all discovery in the case from public disclosure. But attorneys are allowed to circumvent this restriction by filing motions and distribute information (testimony) obtained through discovery in public. Greitens’ lobbyist, Aaron Baker, sent out copies of the defense motion to the media late Sunday night.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, is prosecuting Greitens after a grand jury indicted him in late February.
A Missouri House committee is also investigating the criminal allegation against Greitens – felony invasion of privacy – and has said it’ll release a report on its findings this week.
The court motion released by Greitens’ defense team Sunday night asks the Court to order the Circuit Attorney to hand over any further statements by the woman that her testimony may be based on “dreams” or “visions”, plus statements that she didn’t view herself as an invasion of privacy victim after the March 2015 encounter.
The defense motion contends that in an event never previously disclosed to the Grand Jury or the House Committee, the woman now admits she transmitted images through Facebook of herself to Greitens while she was in a state of partial nudity in June 2015.
It also says that she acknowledged that for months after the alleged “invasion of privacy,” she continued to see Greitens willingly. The motion says she never viewed anything that happened as a criminal matter, agreeing that the “last thing on [her] mind” even in January of 2018 was a criminal prosecution.
In his Monday night statement, Simpson (the woman’s attorney) said, “the governor can continue to try this case in the media but at his trial, the facts will speak for themselves.”
Simpson also said Greitens defense team, “is made of the best lawyers other people’s money can buy,” a possible reference to use of state money.
Greitens hired Washington D.C. attorney Ross Garber to represent the governor’s office in the case, which means taxpayer money will be used to pay Garber’s salary.
(CORRECTION – An earlier version of this story failed to include the phrase “to his client” in a sentence that included the language…the woman’s attorney said Greitens has admitted multiple times “to his client” that he took her photo, without her consent and threatened to release it if she ever told anybody about the relationship.)
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