In one of his last acts before leaving office Friday, embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed into law a bill that criminalizes sharing or threatening to share "revenge porn" -- an offense of which he was accused.
Under the new law, which passed overwhelmingly in the state legislature, both the "nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images" and "threatening the nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images" are felonies. The bill was one of 77 that Greitens signed on his last day.
"Today, I'm proud to put my name on many important laws and bold reforms," he said in a statement.
Greitens was accused in January of sexual misconduct and blackmail following an investigation by CNN affiliate KMOV. In the bombshell report, a woman alleged that the married Republican governor threatened her with blackmail following a sexual encounter in 2015.
"And he used some sort of tape, I don't what it was, and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me," she said in a recording aired by KMOV, recalling that Greitens told her that "'you're never going to mention my name,' otherwise there will be pictures of me (the woman) everywhere."
In the recorded conversation, the woman said Greitens apologized to her afterward and told her he had deleted the picture, KMOV reported.
Greitens admitted to the affair but denied the blackmail allegations. He was charged with first-degree felony invasion of privacy in February, but that charge was dropped in May. Greitens announced his resignation earlier this week amid this and a separate scandal involving the alleged misuse of a charity donor list, although he maintained that he had "not broken any laws, nor committed any offense worthy of this treatment." His resignation took effect at the end of the day Friday.
Although the felony charge was dropped, Greitens could still face criminal charges. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was named special prosecutor in the case on May 21, and reaffirmed that the investigation would continue regardless of the governor's resignation.
"In the interest of pursing justice to its fullest lengths, we will continue until our work on the case is completed," she said in a statement Tuesday. "Specifically regarding any deals we made with Governor Greitens' attorneys, no deals were made by my office. Our review of this case, as I have stated before, will be pursued without fear or favor."
The new "revenge porn" law cannot be applied retroactively to his case, according to The Kansas City Star.
- Outgoing Gov. Eric Greitens, accused of revenge porn, signs law criminalizing it
- Felony charge dropped against outgoing Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens
- Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens indicted
- Charge dropped against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens
- URGENT - Eric Greitens resigns
- FBI opened inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens
- Eric Greitens is in deep, deep trouble
- Gov. Greitens announces support for Missouri Workers' Compensation Law
- Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admits to affair but denies blackmail allegation
- Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is in 'serious' danger of losing his job