JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill that would make it a felony to disseminate — or threaten to disseminate — private sexual images.
The 149-1 House vote Monday comes as Gov. Eric Greitens is facing a felony indictment on a charge of invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a photo of a nude or partially nude woman in 2015 and transmitting it to a computer.
Lawmakers didn’t mention Greitens during their brief debate Monday. But some noted that the legislation also had been proposed last year. The allegations against Greitens did not become public until this past January.
Greitens has acknowledged having an affair but has denied using a photo as blackmail for the woman to remain silent.
The House legislation now moves to the Senate.
St. Louis prosecutors say the ongoing investigation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens could include matters beyond the allegation of invasion of privacy involving a woman with whom he had an affair.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a contentious, unscheduled hearing occurred Monday in St. Louis Circuit Court, during which the Republican governor’s legal team accused the circuit attorney’s office of improperly using the grand jury to perform the investigation.
The grand jury’s indictment of Greitens was announced Thursday. He is accused of taking a compromising, unauthorized photo of the woman in 2015, before he was governor. He has admitted to the affair but denies committing a crime.
A judge at the hearing set a tentative trial date of May 14.