June 8, 2018 / 10:48 PM / 2 years ago

Missouri prosecutor will not charge scandal-plagued ex-governor

(Reuters) - A Missouri special prosecutor said on Friday she would not bring charges against former Governor Eric Greitens, who resigned last month as he was facing impeachment over an extramarital affair, allegations of blackmail and questionable fundraising.

FILE PHOTO: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens appears in a police booking photo in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., February 22, 2018. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept./Handout via REUTERS/File Picture

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, named in late May as a special prosecutor in the case, said in a statement that after reviewing evidence, she was declining to indict Greitens.

St. Louis prosecutors had dismissed the criminal invasion of privacy charge against Greitens on May 14 before his trial got under way. They subsequently said it would be refiled before a decision on whether to proceed was handed to Baker’s office.

An attorney for Greitens was not immediately available for comment.

Greitens, a 44-year-old former Navy SEAL commando once seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, was suspected of felony invasion of privacy in connection with an admitted extramarital affair in 2015 before he was elected.

He was accused of taking a photo of his lover in a state of undress without her consent and making it accessible by computer to use as retaliation should she divulge their relationship. He has denied threatening to blackmail her and his attorneys have noted that the alleged photograph has never been produced.

Greitens abruptly resigned on May 29.

St. Louis prosecutors dropped a separate charge of computer tampering stemming from fundraising activities in what appeared to be a deal reached as a part of his departure from office.

He had remained under investigation for possible felony invasion of privacy in connection with the extramarital affair.

Greitens has called the charges part of a political witch hunt and he has complained of “legal harassment.”

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by James Dalgleish

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