Prosecutors on Monday abruptly dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens but said they still hope to pursue a case against him for allegedly taking a revealing photo of a woman with whom he has acknowledged having an affair. Greitens, who has long denied any criminal wrongdoing, emerged from the courthouse declaring vindication. His attorneys asserted the case had crumbled under a lack of evidence and doubted any charge will ever be refiled. "Today the prosecutor has dropped the false charges against me. This is a great victory and it has been a long time coming," Greitens told reporters outside the St. Louis circuit courthouse. "This experience has been humbling and I have emerged from it a changed man." The prosecutor's surprise move came after the judge had granted a request by Greitens' lawyers to call St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner as a witness for the defense.
Greitens' defense team has repeatedly criticized Gardner's handling of the case, particularly her hiring of private investigator William Tisaby, whom Greitens' lawyers have accused of perjury. "The court's order places the Circuit Attorney in the impossible position of being a witness, subject to cross-examination," spokeswoman Susan Ryan said in a statement. It "leaves the Circuit Attorney no adequate means of proceeding with this trial," Ryan said. "Therefore, the court has left the Circuit Attorney with no other legal option than to dismiss and refile this matter." She said a decision will be made later to either seek a special prosecutor or appoint one of Gardner's assistants to proceed. Greitens, 44, was charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and transmitting a photo of an at least partially nude woman without her permission in 2015.