“If a picture paints a thousand words…,” famous lyrics written by David Gates of the seventies group “Bread,” then why do our politicians continue to get caught up in controversies surrounding photographs? Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is the latest politician who may take a fall due to a photo.
You may recall that former Sen. Al Franken lost his Senate seat after a 2006 photograph surfaced in which Franken was seen groping the chest of a sleeping female model. The model was touring with Franken and others on a USO trip to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan and fell asleep on the plane. Franken took advantage of her being asleep and asked someone to snap the picture for him, a decision he later regretted.
Today, another politician may have also made a regrettable decision.
On Thursday, Republican Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted by a grand jury and charged with felony invasion of privacy.
Greitens’ attorney Attorney Edward Dowd, Jr. denies the charges, calling them “baseless” and claims that Greitens is “absolutely innocent.”
“…in forty years of public and private practice, I have never seen anything like this. The charges against my client are baseless and unfounded. My client is absolutely innocent. We will be filing a motion to dismiss.”
The charge against Greitens apparently stems from an affair in 2015, to which Greitens admitted to in January.
It is alleged that Greitens “threatened to release a nude photograph of a woman, blindfolded and hands bound, if she talked publicly about the relationship,” according to CNBC.
In a recording obtained by News 4, the woman allegedly admitted that she had a sexual encounter with Greitens and that afterward he tried to blackmail her with an image of herself to keep the encounter quiet.
Greitens has repeatedly denied that blackmail was involved since the story of his affair broke last month.
Greitens said then:
“This was a consensual relationship. There was no blackmail, there was no violence, there was no threat of violence, there was no threat of blackmail, there was no threat of using a photograph for blackmail. All of those things are false.”
Greitens, however, apparently won’t answer requests about whether or not he took a photo of the woman.
According to KMOV, Channel 4 in Missouri, the charges against Greitens reads as follows:
“Greitens knowingly took a photograph of a woman in a “state of full or partial nudity without the knowledge and consent” of that woman. The charge goes on to say the photograph was taken “in a place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the defendant subsequently transmitted the image contained in the photograph in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.”
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner wrote in a statement that:
“Under Missouri law, the Grand Jury has found probable cause to believe that Governor Greitens violated Missouri State Statute 565.252, which was in place at the time of the violation. This statute has a provision for both a felony and misdemeanor. The law makes it a felony if a person transmits the image contained in the photograph or film in a manner that allows access to that image via a computer.”
Greitens is a former Navy SEAL was a Democrat until he switched to the Republican Party in 2015. Greitens has been serving as Missouri’s governor since January 2017.
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