Should Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens pardon a man for the same crime Greitens is being accused of?
Missouri‘s scandal-plagued governor, Eric Greitens, experienced an unexpected new complication over the weekend. A former male stripper who illegally filmed sexual partners is asking Greitens to pardon him — because Greitens is currently fighting an indictment for the same crime. It’s the latest in the soap opera that just might be the highest-stakes revenge porn case in U.S. history, and yet another embarrassing moment tarnishing Missouri’s name.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Paul Henreid, a former law student and male stripper who was prosecuted for invasion of privacy for secretly filming sex partners two decades ago, has (through a lawyer) asked Greitens for a pardon.
Here’s the lawyer’s reasoning: Greitens, like Henreid, is under indictment for invasion of privacy. Greitens, like Henreid, is accused of filming someone without their consent during an otherwise consensual sexual encounter. And Greitens, like Henreid, is trying to argue that the invasion of privacy statute is only supposed to apply to “peeping Toms,” not consensual sex.
Greitens is accused of taking non-consensual nude photographs of a woman he was engaged in an extramarital affair with, and later using those photos to blackmail her. The woman confessed the affair to her then-husband, who recorded that conversation and later gave it to reporters.
Grietens’ motion to dismiss the charges against him does not try to deny the existence of the photograph, but rather claims that the woman in the affair had no expectation of privacy — the latest in a series of bizarre victim blaming that Greitens and his team have engaged in.
Henreid’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, says that it would be hypocritical for Greitens to deny a pardon to Henreid, considering that Greitens is asking for the same treatment in dismissing a prosecution for the same crime.
“What’s good for the governor should be good for the gander,” Watkins said.
Watkins has a long history of taking on cases that attract public attention, and is also representing the anonymous ex-husband of the woman Greitens had the affair with. In a statement, Greitens called Watkins a “reckless liberal prosecutor” who made a “misguided political decision” to take on this case.
Henreid pled guilty in 1999 to invasion of privacy for secretly filming sex partners with a video camera that was disguised as a clock radio. Since one of his partners was 17 at the time, he was also indicted on charges of child abuse and child pornography, but prosecutors dropped those in exchange for the guilty plea. The judge sentenced him to five years’ probation and 30 nights in jail (he was allowed out during the day to work).
Henreid also wanted to get his conviction erased from the public record, but the judge refused. That’s why Henreid has been seeking a governor’s pardon. He previously asked then-Gov. Jay Nixon to pardon him in 2011, but Nixon neither pardoned him nor denied pardon.
Henreid says he wants to run for public office, and claims he can’t do that unless his conviction is stricken from the record. Maybe if both men have their cases dismissed, Greitens could have a new running mate in the next election.