Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Resigns After Graphic Sexual Allegations

Facing sexual misconduct allegations and a felony charge, Greitens decides to step down

Eric Greitens resigned on Tuesday. Credit: Jeff Roberson/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Update: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens held a press conference to announce his resignation on Tuesday. In April, a woman alleged that Greitens beat her and groped her without consent during an affair. In addition, he is facing a felony charge for tampering with computer data, according to The New York Times.

During his press conference, Greitens portrayed himself as a victim of a carefully orchestrated assault on his character. "This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family," he said. He cited "millions of dollars in mounting legal fees" and "endless personal attacks designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends" as the reasons behind his decision to step down from office. 

The New York Times reports that Greitens could face up to four years in prison if convicted of tampering with computer data.

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The woman who alleges that Missouri Governor Eric Greitens took a non-consensual photo of her – and threatened to release it if she told anyone about their affair – testified under oath before a Missouri House committee, alleging that Greitens groped her without consent, forced her to perform oral sex and hit her on several occasions. Her testimony was made public on Wednesday.

Gov. Greitens was already indicted on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge in February – a surprising turn of events for one of the youngest governors in the country, a former Navy SEAL and Rhodes Scholar who seemed to be on the fast track to stardom in the Republican party. Though Greitens admitted to the extramarital affair, he has maintained he did not commit a crime, chalking the indictment up to partisan hardball from "a reckless liberal prosecutor." ­

On Wednesday, Greitens reiterated that the affair was "a personal mistake" and said he was the victim of "a political witch-hunt."

Following the February indictment,  the Missouri state house voted unanimously to create a committee to investigate Greitens' alleged behavior. That group of five Republicans and two Democrats spoke to the woman who had an affair with Greitens – she remains anonymous – and described her as "an overall credible witness;" in addition, they talked to her ex-husband and two of her friends. The committee revealed the results of their investigation on Wednesday afternoon. Here are the key takeaways.

According to the House committee report, the woman alleges Greitens groped her without consent before they were in a relationship.

The woman told the committee that Greitens touched her without consent while she was cutting his hair in March 2015. "I was standing next to him and describing a conversation I had with one of my professors," the woman told the house committee. "… I could feel his hand on my leg… At first I just ignored it … then he, like, moved his hand all the way up to my crotch, at which point I stepped back and was like, what you are doing?"

The woman alleges that Greitens photographed her semi-nude without her consent.

The woman alleges that Greitens led her into his basement, taped her hands to pull-up rings, blindfolded her, spat water into her mouth, then ripped her shirt and pulled down her pants without asking her permission. "[T]hen I hear him kind of, like, step back – take a step back and I hear – I can hear like a, like a cell phone – like a picture, and I can see a flash through the blindfold," she told the committee.

Greitens allegedly threatened to release that photo.

The woman alleges that Greitens told her, "You’re not going to mention my name … because if you do, I'm going to take these pictures, and I'm going to put them everywhere I can. They are going to be everywhere, and then everyone will know what a little whore you are."

The woman alleges that Greitens forced her to perform oral sex on him.

After Greitens allegedly took the nonconsensual photo of his partially nude partner, she told the committee she "kept saying, get me out of here" and started "uncontrollably crying." At this point, she alleges that Greitens took "his penis out and puts it, like near where my face is." "He's not going to let me leave, because he's obviously still horny," she continued. "So I gave him oral sex at this point." According to the committee's report, "she felt she had no other choice if she were going to get out of the basement."

The woman alleges Greitens hit her.

In June 2015, Greitens allegedly became angry when the woman he was having an affair with told him she had also had sex with her husband in the recent past. "[Greitens] slapped me across my face," she told the committee, adding that, "it wasn’t sweet and gentle; it was forceful." The woman also remembered another instances in which Greitens "smacked [her] and grabbed [her] and shoved [her] down on the ground."