Missouri governor indicted for felony invasion of privacy

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) was indicted by a St. Louis grand jury Thursday on a felony invasion of privacy charge. 

The indictment stems from allegations he threatened to release a naked photo of a woman he was having an affair with if she revealed their relationship. 

Greitens's lawyer denied the charge of blackmail but in January the governor admitted to the 2015 affair.

St. Louis Dispatch reporter Robert Patrick said he saw the governor being led away by police on Thursday. The Kansas City Star confirmed that Greitens was taken into custody and booked at the St. Louis Justice Center.

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In January, local TV station KMOV obtained audio in which an unnamed woman discussed going to Greitens's house in 2015, where she said he bound her to a piece of exercise equipment and blindfolded her before taking photos. The audio was allegedly recorded by the woman’s ex-husband and released without her consent.

The woman was reportedly Greitens's previous hair stylist, according to multiple media reports.

The St. Louis city prosecutor and the FBI launched separate investigations into Greitens last month.

“As I have stated before, it is essential for residents of the City of St. Louis and our state to have confidence in their leaders,” Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement.

The felony charge indicates that Greitens will be charged with transmitting a nude photo taken without consent in a manner that could have revealed it to others. Taking nude photos without consent is typically a misdemeanor in Missouri.

Greitens was elected as governor in 2016. He ran for the office on being a family man and touted during the campaign that he was “a Navy SEAL, native Missourian and most importantly, a proud husband and father.”

Updated at 6:33 p.m.