Missouri’s Republican Governor Eric Greitens, once viewed as a rising star in the party, was indicted Thursday afternoon on a felony charge.
According to the indictment from the Circuit Attorney of the City of St. Louis, a grand jury indicted the governor on a felony invasion of privacy charge stemming from an incident that took place on or about March 21, 2015.
That incident in question occurred during the governor’s extramarital affair with a woman not named in the indictment. According to prosecutors, Greitens “knowingly photographed” the woman while she was nude and had a “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Last month, it was reported that the woman alleges Greitens threatened to release that image if she ever spoke out about their affair.
The indictment, first reported by The Kansas City Star, follows a criminal investigation launched last month by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.
In response to the news, Greitens issued a statement on Thursday evening saying: "As I have said before, I made a personal mistake before I was Governor. I did not commit crime."
"My confidence in our prosecutorial system is shaken, but not broken," he continued. "I know this will be righted soon."
The allegations of blackmail first surfaced in January, at which point Greitens admitted to the extramarital affair, but denied ever having coerced her into keeping silent.
Local St. Louis TV outlet KMOV first reported those accusations, via an interview with the ex-husband of the woman with whom Greitens carried on the affair.
In a conversation the ex-husband recorded with his wife before they divorced, the woman claimed that the sexual encounter was consensual but that Greitens “used some sort of tape, I don’t know what it was, and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me.”
She went on to say that Greitens photographed her while she was naked and said “‘you’re never going to mention my name,’ otherwise there will be pictures of me everywhere.”
According to the woman, Greitens later apologized and claimed that he had deleted the image.