Attorneys will select jurors in May for Gov. Eric Greitens' trial in a criminal case that has raised the prospect that the governor could be forced from office.
Prosecutors and Greitens’ defense team will choose from a pool of 160 people, starting on May 10, ahead of the governor’s trial for felony invasion of privacy.
Greitens faces a grand jury indictment based on allegations that he took a nude photograph of a woman without her consent to keep her from talking about an extramarital affair.
The trial is scheduled for May 14 in St. Louis after the governor’s team did not seek a change of venue. Greitens’ team did not comment on the day's proceedings.
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St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has asked for the jury to be sequestered after it is selected, said Susan Ryan, Gardner’s spokeswoman.
“The defense didn’t agree on that, so both sides are going to talk further in,” Ryan said.
Judge Rex Burlison agreed set aside two hour-long blocks each week on Monday and Thursday mornings to handle motions from both sides in the weeks leading up to the case.
Burlison also granted a protective order, which Gardner requested, that will prevent either side from sharing discovery in the case with third parties, Ryan said.
“They’re only allowed to share it with people on their team, so you shouldn’t be seeing things on Breitbart or those kinds of places,” she said.
Gardner’s office also filed its response to a motion from Greitens’ team, which was filed the same day as the indictment, seeking to dismiss the case.
Greitens’ team argued that the invasion of privacy statute was misapplied in this case because Greitens and the alleged victim were engaged in consensual sexual activity.
The response from Gardner’s office notes that the indictment “does not reference sexual activity and plainly states that the photographs were taken without the consent of the victim.”
Gardner’s office argues that Missouri allows for the dismissal of an indictment only when the motion is based on undisputed facts and that in his filing Greitens provided “no actual, undisputed evidence of consensual sexual activity” between him and the alleged victim.
“Missouri courts have never allowed a Defendant’s mere word — his allegation or theory — to be admitted as undisputed evidence,” the response states.
Gardner's team acknowledged in court last week that it does not have the photograph that Greitens is alleged to have taken.
Several Greitens staffers have received subpoenas from the grand jury. Graves Garrett, the Kansas City-based law firm representing staffers, announced Tuesday evening that it had formed a legal fund for the governor’s staffers, the Missouri Legal Expense Fund.
Todd Graves, one of the partners in Graves Garrett, is the chair of the Missouri Republican Party.