Missouri Governor Is Accused Of Sexually Assaulting A Woman

Photo: Jeff Roberson/AP/REX/Shutterstock.
A woman accused Republican Gov. Eric Greitens of sexually assaulting and blackmailing her, according to a report released by a Missouri House of Representatives committee on Wednesday.
Greitens first came under fire in January, when it was reported that he had an extramarital affair before he took office. It subsequently came to light that he had allegedly taken a semi-nude picture of the woman without her consent and threatened to release it if she ever told anyone about their relationship.
But according to the report released by the committee, the first-term governor also forced her into a sexual situation without her consent before the affair began.
The woman told lawmakers that she visited Greitens's house in March 2015 and he allegedly blindfolded her, bound her to exercise equipment, spanked her, and tried to kiss her — all without her consent. The woman said that she began crying and asking Greitens to stop. He began consoling her, but also took his penis out. The woman told the committee that while he didn't force her to give him oral sex, it felt like it was the only way she could leave the house.
"It felt like consent, but, no, I didn’t want to do it," the woman told investigators. "Coerced, maybe. I felt as though that would allow me to leave."
The committee said they found the woman "credible." But even though Greitens admitted to the affair, he has denied the sexual assault allegations.
"I want to say again what I’ve said from the beginning: This is a political witch hunt," he said at a press conference Wednesday, using a term preferred in Washington these days. It's also worth noting the Missouri House and Senate has a Republican majority. The committee is led by a Republican as well.
He added, "I will continue to serve the people of Missouri as their governor and to work for you every day. And they know, they need to know, that fake charges and falsehoods aren’t going to stop us."
Though the report doesn't include recommendations on Greitens' political future, the committee could potentially decide to file articles of impeachment against him.
Several people from both sides of the aisle have called for Greitens to step down, including Attorney General Josh Hawley, Sen. Claire McCaskill, and Rep. Ann Wagner.
The national GOP leaders have yet to issue a statement on the allegations against Greitens. (Refinery29 reached out to the Republican National Committee and the National Federation of Republican Women for comment. We'll update this story if we hear back.)
Greitens will go to trial next month on one count of felony invasion of privacy, connected to the allegation that he took a picture of the woman without her consent and blackmailed her.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
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