ST. LOUIS - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is still going to trial for a felony charge of invasion of privacy. The judge ruled against a defense request to dismiss the case.
Judge Rex Burlison said Thursday the prosecution had been unfair in its dealings with the defense. Although he said the case is going forward, dismissing the case was still an option on the table.
The defense team for Governor Greitens arrived at the courthouse for the 9 a.m. hearing. Before it even began, the judge called attorneys on both sides into his chambers. The hearing finally began a half-hour later and the judge lit into the prosecution.
Judge Burlison said there’s been a tilting of the playing field by the prosecution. He scolded the state for violating procedures regarding the sharing of evidence with the defense.
Greitens is on trial for a felony invasion of privacy concerning his admitted affair. He’s accused to have taken a picture of his mistress while she was partially dressed and then transmitting the photo electronically.
Greitens’ lawyers have also launched several allegations against the circuit attorney’s chief investigator in the case, William Don Tisaby. They insisted he withheld evidence and lied under oath. Tisaby allegedly said he did not take notes during a deposition of Greitens’ mistress but Tisaby can be seen in a photo doing just that.
The judge ruled the actions by the prosecutor caused a fundamental unfairness that could be cured. He said the case would proceed but with sanctions. He told the defense they could re-depose witnesses, including Tisaby and Greitens’ mistress.
“I can’t say anything, we’re still under the gag order, unfortunately,” said Ed Dowd, an attorney representing Greitens.
Lawyers from both sides remain tight-lipped.
“We view ourselves as still under the court’s instruction not to be talking too much and avoid that, so we can’t say anything about the hearing today,” said attorney James Bennett, another member of Greitens’ defense team.
The judge stopped short of issuing an order, telling lawyers on both sides to play fair. The judge also talked about monetary sanctions against the prosecution including paying for the new depositions and maybe even fines.
If there are more problems from the prosecution, the judge said he would not only consider more sanctions but also dismissing the case.