The judge presiding over the criminal invasion of privacy case against Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday he would not strike testimony from the woman accusing him of taking a picture of her without consent while she was bound, blindfolded, and partially nude.
The defense sought to suppress the testimony given by K.S., the woman at the center of the case, since she was interviewed by William Don Tisaby, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s former lead investigator, who was accused by the defense of lying under oath, withholding evidence, and “molding witnesses.”
But St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison refused to block that testimony, saying the jury must decide K.S.’s credibility.
“The law favors a full hearing,” Burlison said. “The defense is correct in that this case reeks of sanctions, but I’m not going to deprive the public and the administration of justice from having a full hearing on the evidence.”
Burlison did question the prosecution about the evidence. In response, trial assistant Robert Dierker said they have no direct evidence of a photo or witnesses who can testify to what may have been pictured in that photo. Dierker, however, said they do have circumstantial evidence.
Burlison also on Monday struck three expert witnesses that the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office was going to use in the trial, which is set to begin May 14.
Two of the three are electrical engineers, who according to the prosecution, would help clarify that K.S. heard the distinct shutter sound an iPhone makes while taking a picture.
In addition, the expert witnesses would also clarify to the court that when an iPhone takes a picture it’s technically already transmitted because it was transmitted from the camera to the phone’s storage.
Burlison said there was no need for these expert witnesses because it’s up to the jury to determine whether or not that’s technically a transmission of a photograph.
Also according to Greitens’ defense attorney Jim Martin, Scott Faughn (the publisher of the Missouri Times and the Clayton Times) reportedly delivered $20,000 in addition to the $50,000 in cash he has admitted to.
Martin said Watkins, in his deposition, admitted Faughn made two additional $10,000 payments to Watkins, who is representing the ex-husband of the woman at the center of the case.
Faughn, in an editorial published Thursday, said he paid Watkins for the tapes between the woman and her ex-husband in an attempt to use them as source documents for a book revolving around the Greitens campaign.
Martin said the defense team has had difficulty locating the publisher, stating that he’s been avoiding getting subpoenaed.
“Mr. Faughn is apparently on the run and we can’t find him for a subpoena,” Martin said at the hearing.
In a pretrial hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Burlison said he would make a ruling on whether or not he would allow still photos and audio equipment in the courtroom during the trial. Burlison ruled last week he would not allow cameras in the courtroom.
Jury selection is scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday, in which about 80 candidates will be brought in and asked to take a questionnaire and respond to whether or not they’ve heard anything about the case.
Potential jurors will be brought back the following Monday, when the prosecution and defense will start the striking of jurors process.
Greitens stands accused of taking a partially nude photo of the woman while she was bound and blindfolded in the basement of his home in 2015.