April 17 (UPI) -- A South Florida judge on Wednesday issued a protective order preventing prosecutors from releasing video evidence of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at a day spa as part of his solicitation case.
The order came after the office of Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said it planned to publicly release the video of Kraft and 24 other men accused of paying for sex at the spa. Kraft's lawyers filed an emergency motion to stop the public release of the video, which they described as pornographic.
Kraft, 77, is accused of soliciting a prostitute on at least two occasions at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla., earlier this year. Officials said the encounters occurred at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, about 80 miles north of Miami. He has denied wrongdoing.
Police had a warrant to place the business under video surveillance, and authorities say video evidence of Kraft's two visits is in the hands of prosecutors.
On Friday, Kraft's lawyer said video evidence against his client should be kept from public view because his right to privacy should be held in higher regard than whatever "prurient interest" the public might have in seeing the videos.
"If the affidavit says what happened, what is the interest the public has in seeing it? It's basically pornography," Kraft's lawyer, William Burck, said.
Aronberg's office said it must release videos purporting to show illegal acts at the space because of Florida's open-records laws.
"Absent a court order, the state will be releasing the requested public records once it has retrieved and reviewed the records," prosecutors said in a court filing.
Prosecutors indicated they would pixelate or blur any obscene or pornographic images in the videos before releasing them.
Kraft pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor solicitation charge and requested a jury trial in Florida. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service.