A Florida judge issued a temporary protective order on Wednesday to halt the release of surveillance footage showing Robert Kraft engaging in allegedly sexually explicit activity at a day spa.
The ruling, first reported by ESPN, came after Kraft's attorneys filed a motion arguing that the prosecution's Wednesday announcement, also on Wednesday that they intended to release the videos was an "extraordinary and alarming development involving what appears to be gross prosecutorial misconduct."
Judge Joseph Marx said the video would remain under wraps until an April 29 hearing at the earliest.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office had cited a state law arguing that the release of the tapes could not be delayed any longer unless they were barred from being made public by a judge, The Boston Globe reported.
The tapes' release had been strongly contested by the lawyer for Lei Wang, who managed Orchids of Asia Day Spa, and Kraft's attorney William Burck, who said last week the footage should not be made public because "it's basically pornography." He added the only reason the videos would be made public is "to get eyeballs and clicks."
Wang's lawyer attempted to argue the release of the videos be held off until the conclusion of criminal proceedings against his client, but Aronberg's office wasn't backing down.
Kraft, 77, is facing two misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution as a result of his alleged visits to Orchids of Asia Day spa on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20. During his second visit, the billionaire was said to have engaged in sexual activity with Wang.
Kraft, who owns the New England Patriots, rejected a plea deal and pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He released a public statement apologizing for his actions and said that throughout his life he has "always tried to do the right thing."
“The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years," he said of his late wife Myra Hiatt Kraft. In 2012, he began dating 39-year-old actress and model Nicki Noel Lander.
At least 15 men, including Kraft, have requested that Judge Leonard Hanser issue protective orders blocking the public release of the video, but he has yet to make a decision on that issue.