State calls Robert Kraft “massage” video obscene and pornographic

In a court filing released this morning, Florida state attorney Dave Aronberg’s office labeled the video of New England Patriots Robert Kraft allegedly receiving paid sexual services as “obscene” and “pornographic.” In other words, and quite notably: in the official opinion of the state attorney for Florida’s 15th judicial district, the video of Robert Kraft’s alleged “rub and tug” is both “obscene” and “pornographic.”

Labeling the video as “obscene” allows the State Attorney’s office to argue that they must first “pixelate or blur” parts of the video before releasing it. They claim that if they released the video unpixelated, they would run afoul of the prohibition in Florida Statutes 847.011(1)(a) against the release of “obscene” material.

However, while that statute contains the word “obscene,” it does not contain word “pornographic.” The state attorney therefore did not have to use the word “pornographic” to invoke to the statute. They did so anyway.

Perhaps the state attorney applied US supreme court justice Potter Stewart’s “I know it when I see it” definition of pornography.

Kraft’s attorneys asked the court keep the video confidential, arguing that the video was obtained in a way that violated his 4th amendment rights. Aronberg’s office,  on the other hand, argues that “the State, as custodian of the records, cannot delay the release of the records to allow a person to raise a constitutional challenge to the release of the documents. Tribune Co. v. Cannella, 438 So. 2d 516” The Guardian and many other news outlets have made a public records request for the Kraft video.

Yesterday, a Florida circuit judge granted Kraft a temporary protective order barring release of the video, but only until the judge can rule on the matter of the narrow legal issues involved.

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