Some of the pornographic emails that were exchanged among state government officials in a scandal that has claimed some of their jobs involved children and violent sexual acts against women, the state attorney general said Tuesday.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in an interview televised Tuesday night on CNN the images are "deplorable."

"When I saw them they literally took my breath away," Kane said. "And they are deplorable: hardcore, graphic, sometimes violent emails that had a string of videos and pictures depicting sometimes children, old women. Some of them involved violent sexual acts against women."

Kane, a Democrat, said a court order is preventing her from investigating them or explaining why. The court order stems from an investigation by a special prosecutor into whether Kane's office breached grand jury secrecy when it gave documents about a 2009 investigation to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Kane did not describe the material involving children and violent sexual acts against women or say who exchanged it, and she was not asked in the interview to elaborate on it. In any case, no one who has viewed the emails has described them as having involved child pornography.

One of Kane's lawyers in the case, Lanny Davis, said he had not seen all of the emails involved, and he was not sure to what Kane was referring. But, he said two images he saw of children were inappropriate but not necessarily child pornography.

They were "borderline," he said.

In one image, there were two children kissing, and in another a boy and a girl were peeking into each other's underwear, Davis said.

Regarding material involving sexual violence against women, Davis described a scene in which a champagne bottle is used in a sex act and points to state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille's description of a video of a "woman in sexual congress with a snake."

Last week, Kane said four of her employees had been fired and 11 suspended without pay for involvement in the pornographic email scandal, which also has prompted a state Supreme Court justice to step down.

The hundreds of emails that Kane has released included pornographic or explicit photos, videos and jokes. Kane's office plans training, starting in December, for all employees and will set up a way for staff to report such behavior without facing retaliation.

Kane previously had said the emails surfaced during an examination of how state prosecutors handled the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case under her predecessors, a review she promised while running for the office in 2012.

She also had disclosed the participation of eight former employees of the office, including several senior supervisors. That led at least four to leave government jobs elsewhere, including the state's environmental protection secretary. Others who remain in their jobs include the state's police commissioner and a prosecutor in the Philadelphia district attorney's office.

Last month, Justice Seamus McCaffery retired after his fellow justices suspended him amid the disclosure he had he sent or received 234 of the emails. McCaffery sent most of the emails to a now-retired agent in the attorney general's office, who then forwarded the emails to others in the office, Castille has said.

Kane, a former Lackawanna County prosecutor, is the first Democrat and first woman elected attorney general in Pennsylvania. She took over from Linda Kelly, one of two Republicans to serve on an interim basis after Republican Tom Corbett stepped down to become governor in 2011.

Corbett has said he was not aware of the emails while heading the state prosecutor's office.