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Greitens to go to trial May 14

Gov. Greitens' booking photo from Feb. 22
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Feb. 22, 2018

Gov. Eric Greitens’ trial on a felony invasion of privacy charge has been set for May 14.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison scheduled the start of the trial at a hearing Wednesday morning.

Greitens’ defense team had asked for a speedy trial, while Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner didn’t want it to begin until November, saying she she needed more time to prepare.

“We understand the court’s perspective, and we will comply with their decision,” said Gardner’s spokeswoman Susan Ryan.

Ryan said that while the date is a challenge, Gardner’s team will put in the necessary work to be ready.

“Considering the size of our docket, it’s certainly going to be a challenge,” Ryan said. “But we’ll do the best job we can for the people of this city, and if we have to bring on additional resources we’ll do that as well.”

Greitens attorneys couldn’t immediately be reached for comment after the hearing.

Greitens was indicted on a felony charge of invasion of privacy on Feb. 22. The indictment alleges that Greitens took a photograph of the victim, in a state of full or partial nudity without her knowledge and consent and then electronically stored the woman’s photograph in such a way that it could be disseminated online.

Host Don Marsh talks to St. Louis Public Radio statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin about the governor’s felony charges and its effect on Jefferson City:

Greitens has pleaded not guilty and denied he did anything criminal in connection with his affair with the woman.

On Monday, the state House announced the formation of a committee to investigate the allegations against Greitens. The committee is expected to decide whether to recommend the start of impeachment proceedings.

Some Republican lawmakers have called on Greitens to resign, but he has said he plans to stay in office while he fights the charge.

The next court hearing on the case is scheduled for March 16.

Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.