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Government, Politics & Issues
Gov. Eric Greitens announced in late May that he would resign after facing months of political and legal scandals.The saga started in January, when KMOV released a recording of a woman saying Greitens took a compromising photo of her during a sexual encounter and threatened to blackmail her.A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on felony invasion of privacy. The woman testified to lawmakers that Greitens sexually and physically abused her, spurring bipartisan calls for his resignation or impeachment.The invasion of privacy charge was eventually dropped by St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office following a series of prosecutorial missteps before the trial began. Greitens was also accused of illegally obtaining a donor list from the veterans non-profit he co-founded with his political campaign, but that charge, too, was dismissed as part a deal that led to his resignation as governor.

Full names, no audio recording, during Greitens trial

Civil Courts building, St. Louis
File photo | Rachel Heidenry
Jury selection in Gov. Eric Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial begins Thursday in the Civil Courts building in downtown St. Louis.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison has rejected a media request to record audio during the felony trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Burlison ruled Wednesday that still photography would be allowed for the first 10 minutes of the first day of trial, which is scheduled for Monday. He had previously rejected video recording of the trial, although it will be broadcast into an overflow courtroom for media and the public.

Greitens is accused of taking a semi-nude photo of the woman with whom he had an affair, and then transmitting it in a way that made it accessible by a computer. The circuit attorney’s office was forced to admit again in court Wednesday that it does not have the alleged photo.

The hearing was the last chance prosecutors and defense attorneys had to shape the way the trial will play out.

Both sides agree that witnesses will be referred to by their full names. That includes the woman at the center of the case, who until now has been referred to in most media outlets as K.S. Burlison did not rule in open court whether defense attorneys would be allowed to question her about previous sexual activity, or whether she had ever gone to counseling. Prosecutors and defense attorneys also agreed that each witness will only be questioned by one attorney.

Burlison ruled that Greitens’ attorneys will be able to bring up the fact that an attorney for K.S.’ ex-husband received $120,000, but will not necessarily be able to ask about the source of that money.

“I have to tell the jury that they have to weigh the bias of the witnesses,” Burlison said. “The fact that there’s $120,000 cast as being used for a safe landing has to be considered.”

He did not immediately address how the defense team will be able to raise questions about the conduct of the state’s investigator, William Tisaby. Greitens’ attorneys claim that his conduct has “infected” the entire case, but they cannot question him about it because he is likely to exercise his right against self-incrimination.

Jury selection starts Thursday morning. Potential jurors will be brought up in groups of 40, and fill out a questionnaire. Opening arguments are set for Monday.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

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