Earlier this year, we learned of allegations that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens took a compromising photo of a woman he had an extramarital affair with and used it to threatened her with blackmail. Greitens admitted to having an affair, but denied using the picture to blackmail his accuser. Eventually, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney indicted Greitens on two felony charges; a first-degree felony invasion of privacy charge, and an unrelated felony charge of computer tampering relating to his campaign’s alleged procurement of a charity’s donor list without the organization’s knowledge. In addition to the felony charges filed in St. Louis city, a committee formed in the Missouri House investigating multiple scandals associate with Greitens published a shocking report detailing allegations of physical violence and sexual assault by Greitens against the accuser in the felony invasion of privacy case.
For the first time in the state’s history, the Missouri General Assembly voted to call itself into a special legislative session on May 18 to may consider whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens.
I am appalled by the insulting language and slut-shaming I’ve seen directed at the survivor in this case, particularly from organizations responsible for pursuing justice for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Just days before the felony invasion of privacy case was scheduled to begin and with the second felony case pending, the St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association sent a chilling message to survivors and the public they allegedly serve when the organization selected Gov. Greitens to keynote a prayer breakfast.
They hit a new low with that invitation. And when they go low, we organize.
Reproaction and NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri organized two actions, a rally on May 10 and a visibility action on May 14, that took place during jury selection in front of the courthouse in St. Louis. These actions were supported by local reproductive justice activists, SEIU Healthcare Missouri workers, Show-Me $15 workers, and a representative from the Coalition of Labor Union Women St. Louis Chapter. With chants and signs and our physical presence, we showed our support for the survivor and renewed our demand that Gov. Greitens resign immediately.
Following our action on May 14, news broke that the St. Louis Circuit Attorney dismissed the felony invasion of privacy case against Greitens. She made it clear that she was requesting a special prosecutor with the goal being to refile the charge. Although this is a disappointing turn of events, it is not the conclusion of this case or the pursuit of justice.
We believe the survivor, and we are proud to stand with her and all survivors. Reproaction and our allies will be there again at the courthouse steps when the invasion of privacy charge is refiled.
The allegations and current felony charge against Gov. Eric Greitens are horrifying, but the sad reality is that he has been an unethical disgrace from day one.
Well, times up.