Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Bakers surely would have liked to take a whack at the Eric Greitens piñata, but one suspects she was afraid of swinging and missing. On Friday she formally declined to file criminal charges against the former Missouri governor.
Greitens may have been his own worst enemy, but he had lots of competition for that position, most notably St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. The inability to produce evidence was the least of the problems inspiring Gardner to hand off this hot potato of a case to Baker. More of an immediate threat for Gardner and her team was the real possibility that her chief investigator, William Tisaby, would be indicted for perjury.
The case was a mess in a hundred different ways. With the statute of limitations on the invasion of privacy charge running out on June 11, Baker had an excuse to get out from under. “I cannot begin to express my level of frustration in simply trying to get potential evidence in this case, particularly working against the clock,” said Baker when washing her hands of it.
Baker was particularly protective of the woman at the heart of the case. “I’m hopeful for one thing: I hope today the vicious attacks against this woman will stop,” Baker said. “She deserves to be protected from further harm. I am going to do my best to protect her from further harm.”
A statement read by the woman’s attorney suggests that the “harm” in question was inflicted by just about everyone but Greitens. “No woman should have to endure the trauma that comes from her ex-husband selling her private story for a six-figure payout,” said her attorney Scott Simpson in a statement.
“No woman should have to turn on the television and watch as the most private and difficult moments of her life are broadcast despite pleading with the reporter for privacy. No woman should be forced to answer countless hours of highly personal questions that are in no way relevant to the issue of whether a nude photograph was taken without her consent.”
Simpson might have added that no married woman should consent to doing the kinky things the woman willingly did with a near stranger, but that would be blaming the victim.