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In House report, woman alleges unwanted, aggressive sexual encounters

In House report, woman alleges unwanted, aggressive sexual encounters

Greitens: House committee's report is product of 'political witch hunt'

April 11th, 2018 by Bob Watson in Missouri News

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters in his office Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

The News Tribune has been following the investigations into Gov. Eric Greitens for months as they have developed. For a full look at coverage of the House committee's investigation and other related issues, go to newstribune.com/greitensinvestigation/.

A 25-page report from the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight provides details of Gov. Eric Greitens' reported affair with his former hairdresser, part of which led to criminal charges filed against him in St. Louis.

His trial on those charges begins May 14.

Much of the report provides first-hand testimony from the woman identified as Greitens' former mistress, including details of the couple's first physical encounter that, she said, included his taking a partially nude picture of her without her permission. The report testimony also covered other days when Greitens and the woman met and had sexual contact and, at least one time, an allegation that he slapped her.

The report noted Greitens was offered a chance to testify before the committee or provide comments to it, but declined.

"On Feb. 28, 2018, Chairman (Jay) Barnes sent a request for production of documents to (the) counsel for Greitens that included four requests — including one request for all documents produced in the criminal case against Greitens," the report said.

But, because St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison prohibited the disclosure of information in that case, the committee noted Greitens' attorneys couldn't respond to that part of the panel's requests.

House committee's full report

Editor's note: The full report from the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight is available on the House website. The report contains graphic, sensitive content of a sexual nature. The committee "has kept descriptions of an adult nature and coarse language in order to provide an unfiltered record of witness testimony," according to the report.

Click here to view:
Report
Transcripts
Exhibits

"However, the Committee's request was broader than the documents that had been disclosed in the criminal case," the report said, "and Greitens' counsel did not provide those documents."

At a news conference after the report was released, House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, told reporters: "The committee repeatedly gave the governor the opportunity to testify with his version of the facts. That invitation remains open."

The St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on Feb. 22 and, the report noted, Richardson "indicated he would form a committee to investigate allegations against Governor Greitens" on the same day.

At that time, the report said, "Counsel for Greitens stated that they would 'welcome reviewing this issue with the independent, bipartisan committee of the Missouri House of Representatives,'" and promised to "work with the committee."

But, in spite of several meetings, the governor and his legal team never provided documents or testimony.

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Greitens complained the committee's work was done in secret, without the public or the press present — and that his attorneys were not allowed to question the panel's witnesses.

The report, released online (at house.mo.gov) at 5 p.m. Wednesday, said the woman — who has been identified as Greitens' former mistress in various news stories, but is named only as "Witness 1" throughout the report — told the House committee she went to Greitens' home because he didn't want to meet in a public place.

She said Greitens — who had not yet started his campaign for the governor's office — wanted to have sex, when she just wanted to talk.

But, when the two met at Greitens' St. Louis Central West End home on March 21, 2015 — a Saturday when Mrs. Greitens was out of town — the report said the future governor asked the woman to change into clothes that he already had selected, then took her to his basement, tied her hands to some exercise rings, blindfolded her — and then started "kissing down my neck and he starts kissing kind of like down to my chest. And he takes the shirt and rips it open."

After commenting on a scar that was exposed, she said, Greitens began "kissing down (her) stomach" and "pull(ing) down (her) pants" to her ankles.

Then, the woman told the committee, "I hear him kind of, like, step back (and) I can hear like a, like a cell phone like a picture, and I can see a flash through the blindfold."

She testified she thought Greitens had a camera but acknowledged to the committee she never saw it.

But, she said, Greitens told her he had taken a picture, and she believed it existed.

She also testified Greitens told her that, if she mentioned his name or the incident, he would spread the picture of her to many places.

She told the committee that, at that point, she felt like her "privacy was invaded."

She protested and began trying to free her hands from the rings.

She said she "was definitely fearful," and she began crying.

As she tried to leave, she told the committee, "he grabs me and like — like, in a bear hug, and was like, Shh, shh, it's okay, calm down, calm down, and like, lays me down on this ground in the basement."

Eventually, she reported, she gave Greitens oral sex — which she felt was "coerced, maybe. I felt as though that would allow me to leave."

Although there were times when the woman's testimony contradicted other things she told the panel, the final report said: "The Committee finds Witness 1 to be an overall credible witness."

She acknowledged visiting Greitens several more times while she was separated from her now-ex-husband.

The committee's report said two other witnesses — friends of the woman for a number of years — backed up her story.

The committee, created in late February and authorized by a 154-0 House vote March 1, is thought to have been investigating more than just the circumstances surrounding Greitens' 2015 affair and actions associated with it that have led to a felony invasion of privacy charge filed in St. Louis.

But the report includes only comments about the affair — based primarily on the testimony of the governor's former hairdresser who also has been identified as his mistress for several months in 2015.

She said they met in 2013, but the physical contact didn't occur until March 2015.

The woman also told the committee she had experienced feelings for Greitens, and they intensified while she was separated from her now-ex-husband.

But, she said, Greitens showed two different kinds of personalities — one compassionate and caring, the other more forceful.

Missourians first heard about the affair when the ex-husband — who was the committee's third witness — released a recording he had made, secretly, when she confessed the affair to him.

She had not wanted it to be made public, but told the committee she's gotten stronger and more self-confident in the last couple of years.

"I feel sad for that person I was," the report said she testified, "that was so vulnerable.

"I was so vulnerable. I just feel really taken advantage of, I think and also by my ex-husband, hugely."