A Florida judge issued a temporary protective order Wednesday halting the impending release of videos allegedly showing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor.
Judge Joseph Marx scheduled a hearing for April 29 to rule on whether police surveillance videos of Kraft and 24 other men from the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., will be released.
A few hours before the judge issued his order, Palm Beach County assistant state attorney Leigh Lassiter Miller announced that her office was planning to release the tapes, citing the state's public records law.
Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution following two January visits to the spa. He has pleaded not guilty and is requesting a jury trial.
The 77-year-old billionaire's defense team has argued in court against the release of the videos.
"It's basically pornography," William Burck, one of Kraft's attorneys, said in court Friday. Burck said release of the videos would result in "catastrophic" harm for Kraft and that "the public's interest in seeing this video is all about prurient interest."
Several media groups also have requested the videos' release.
"The public now has a right of access to them," Diane Schulman, an attorney for the media groups said, adding concerns about embarrassment and publicity are not justifiable reasons to seal the videos under Florida law.