Blackmail case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens dismissed by prosecutors


(JTA) — The criminal case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens for felony invasion of privacy was dismissed by prosecutors Monday.

The decision to dismiss the case, in which Greitens – the state’s first Jewish governor – was accused of taking a nude photo of a woman without her consent and making it available using a computer, came on the third day of jury selection. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner dropped the case hours after a judge ruled that the woman could be called as a witness during the trial, The Washington Post reported.

The decision to drop the case came after news reports surfaced that investigators were unable to find evidence that Greitens took the alleged photo, according to the Post. Investigators reportedly checked Greitens’ cell phone, email and iCloud account in search of the photo of a nude and blindfolded woman.

Gardner said she will refile the charge and appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case, according to the Post.

Greitens was to go on trial for allegedly threatening to distribute a compromising photo of his hairdresser after initiating what she said was unwanted sexual contact. Greitens has denied the charges, saying he had a consensual extramarital affair with the woman. The affair happened in March 2015, before Greitens was elected governor.

Greitens, a former Navy SEAL whose seven military awards include the Bronze Star, was elected in November 2016. He has faced pressure to resign over scandals from numerous state lawmakers and other state officials, including the state’s attorney general, Josh Hawley, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

The governor has said he is sorry for the affair and that he will not resign.

Greitens still faces a felony charge of computer tampering for allegedly using a veterans’ charity donor list to raise funds for his 2016 gubernatorial campaign.

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