JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s outgoing Gov. Eric Greitens signed a bill Friday to make it a crime to threaten to share sexual photos of people without their consent — something Greitens has been accused of doing.
The Republican was resigning Friday following allegations of both personal and professional misconduct, including claims that he took a photo of a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair while she was at least partially nude. She has testified that he threatened to release it if she exposed their relationship, which took place in 2015 as he was gearing up for a potential run for office.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on a felony invasion of privacy charge related to the claims. Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner later dropped the case, but she referred it to a special prosecutor for reconsideration. Greitens has denied criminal wrongdoing.
The law Greitens signed in his final hours as governor would make it a felony crime to threaten to release private sexual images of a person in an attempt to coerce them.
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Violators face up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both. The new law can’t be applied to Greitens, because his alleged actions occurred in 2015.
The law also makes it a crime to spread private sexual photos without permission with the intent to harass, threaten or coerce, a practice commonly known as “revenge porn.” Penalties include up to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
Because of special action by the Republican-led Legislature, the law takes effect immediately.
The legislation was among 77 bills Greitens signed in a last-minute flurry hours before his planned resignation. Here’s a breakdown of other bills Greitens took action on Friday:
Cuts the corporate income tax rate from 6.25 percent to 4 percent starting in 2020; changes how multistate corporations can calculate their taxable income. SB 884
Expands an address confidentiality program to cover all crime victims who fear for their safety, not only those subjected to domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking and rape. HB 1461
Allows electric companies to recoup more of their costs for infrastructure improvements through the rates they charge customers. SB 564
Removes fees for copies of birth certificates for children in foster care; provides 30-day grace period for immunizations to allow homeless children or children in foster care to enroll in school; allows teenagers in foster care who are at least 16 years old to open bank accounts. SB 819
Allows low-income new mothers to receive Medicaid coverage for more than a year after birth to pay for substance abuse and mental health programs. HB 2280
Reduces the current $140 million annual cap on historic preservation tax credits to $120 million, of which $30 million would go to areas with high poverty rates. SB 590
Raises the age at which people are automatically prosecuted as adults from 17 to 18. SB 800 Removes the statute of limitations for charging sex offenses committed against those age 18 or younger. SB 819
Gives administrators greater leeway in hiring, firing and promoting some state employees. SB 1007
Requires some public employee unions to get annual permission from workers to withhold dues from paychecks and to hold recertification elections every three years. HB 1413
Requires school districts or charter schools to pay for K-12 students to take online classes. SB 603