Prosecutors in Greitens case spend thousands on research about smartphone sounds

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ST. LOUIS – Do you know the difference between an iPhone camera click from any other smartphone? Newly released court documents indicate prosecutors are counting on jurors knowing that in the Governor Eric Greitens’ invasion of privacy case.

It’s in a defense motion to strike the testimony of two electrical engineers. Greitens’ defense team alleges the St. Louis Circuit Attorney paid a $10,000 retainer and agreed to pay $475 an hour “to convince a jury (without evidence) that there was a photo and transmission in this case.”

Greitens was charged with invading the privacy of his former mistress. He’s accused of taking a picture while she was blindfolded and nude or partially nude.

The defense argues that the state has paid two electrical engineers with this opinion:

“A person can identify the sound that an iPhone makes that imitates a camera shutter closing … and can differentiate that sound from similar ones on other smartphones.”

The defense points out the alleged victim’s first mention of any shutter sound was three years later.

According to the court record, Greitens’ attorney questioned Engineer Robert Zeidman asking what type of expert could determine a person’s ability to remember subtle differences in sounds years later.

Zeidman reportedly responded, “I don’t know – I don’t know enough to say what kind of expertise is needed to make that determination.”

The defense followed up, “You’re not even enough of an expert to know what kind of expert?”

Zeidman responded, “Correct.”

The defense is asking the Judge to strike the testimony of both engineers, also because of their reported testimony that all iPhone photos are transmitted.

The defense points out that the charged statute says it must be a “subsequent” transmission – so they shouldn’t even be talking about something an iPhone may or may not do automatically.

The judge could rule on this and many other motions Monday.

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