A lawyer for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft argued in court on Friday that police video surveillance footage in Kraft’s solicitation of prostitution trial amounts to an invasion of Kraft’s privacy and should not be treated as public record. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo
April 12 (UPI) — A lawyer for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Friday that video evidence against Kraft should be kept from public view.

Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution after visiting a Jupiter, Fla., spa in January and paying, prosecutors said, for sexual services. He was one of about a dozen men charged in a sting operation. 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.

William Burck, Kraft’s lawyer, said in a Palm Beach County courtroom that Kraft’s “constitutional right to privacy” should be held in higher regard than whatever “prurient interest” the public might have in seeing the videos.

“It’s basically pornography,” Burch said in support of his motion to prevent release of the videos. “There’s no need to see the video unless you actually have a prurient interest in seeing the video. The fundamental problem is that the video is only going to appeal to the prurient interests of certain segments of the public.”

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“Clearly a constitutional right to privacy trumps the Florida statutes that would permit public disclosure,” Burck added.

Kraft did not attend the hearing Friday. His defense team has filed a separate motion challenging the legality of the evidence.

“We think the video in particular is very harmful and was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment,” Burck said, a reference to the constitutional amendment prohibiting the government from unreasonable search and seizure.

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Several media organizations have requested the video footage. They jointly filed a motion to request that the videos remain part of the public record and that media organizations have access to them if they are released by the court. The motion argues that Florida’s public records law would be violated by suppressing the evidence.

An unidentified lawyer for the media has argued that any embarrassment Kraft may feel from the disclosure has already been incurred by allegations made in police statements. Kraft has pleaded not guilty and has requested a jury trial. A hearing on suppressing the video evidence is scheduled for April 26.

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