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Prosecution appealed video ruling in Kraft case Friday

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Palm Beach State Attorney has made the latest move trying to reinstate the police video in Robert Kraft’s January solicitation of prostitution case.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg filed a motion late Friday afternoon that his office intends to appeal judge Robert Hanser’s Monday ruling to suppress the video to the 15th Judicial Circuit, which covers Palm Beach County:

At issue is Hanser deciding that Palm Beach County Sheriff’s and Jupiter Police did not have the proper legal authority to get a “sneak-and-peek” video warrant last January for the “Orchids of Asia Day Spa.”  Hanser agreed with Kraft’s defense that the authorities misrepresented that the video was needed for a case involving human trafficking.

They further argued, that it was an invasion of privacy of everyone that went into the day spa, including for legitimate reasons, during the four-day time that the cameras were used.

Kraft was allegedly seen having sex acts performed on him in a private room on January 19th and 20th. There were 24 others arrested in the crackdown over the four days.

Most legal observers believe without the video, that Aronberg and his office will have no choice but to drop the charges against the 77 year-old billionaire owner of the Patriots.

There was supposed to be a court hearing on Friday for a status of the case, but Hanser was ill and it was rescheduled for Monday.

Another issue to still be ruled on by Hanzer is, whether the release of the video will be granted after a challenge by lawyers of local and national media outlets. Those lawyers argued last month that the video should be released regardless of whether there is a trial, much less a conviction, citing previous legal precedence, including a Florida State Supreme Court decision on it.

Kraft’s defense team has vigorously fought the media filing. And how ever Hanser rules on releasing the video to the public or not, the losing side will likely immediately appeal.

We continue to write that regardless of the legal maneuvering by Kraft’s team and whether or not the charges are dismissed, there is already precedence from the NFL of disciplining players without criminal trial, much less conviction.

And, it’s likely that Kraft will face a large fine and most probably, a suspension of some kind this fall due to the charges and the fact that Kraft already publicly apologized for the embarrassment he’s caused himself, the Patriots and the league.

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Former Gators kicker Pineiro is Chicago hero- for now

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Every week in the NFL there are heroes in the clutch for different franchises. However, in a market like Chicago with the rabid, massive following like the Chicago Bears, when you do something dramatic to help them win everything is taken up to a new level.

That’s something that new kicker, and former Florida Gator Eddy Pineiro, is experiencing after his dramatic game-winning 53 yard field goal with no time left in Denver Sunday gave the Bears a 16-14 win.

First, it looked as though the Bears had blown the game when they allowed Denver’s Joe Flacco to lead a last-minute scoring drive that resulted in a dramatic touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders with :31 seconds left. And, then, the two hooked up on the go ahead two-point conversion to Sanders for 14 – 13 lead.

But undaunted, the Bears, led by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, got into scoring position on a 25-yard completion to the Broncos 25 to Allen Robinson with just :01 remaining.

That’s when Pineiro, who had kicked two lengthy field goals earlier in the game, stepped on the Mile High turf and calmly, with 80,000 Bronco fans going berserk, booted home a line drive game-winner to make the Bears 1 – 1.

As we wrote earlier this month, Pineiro, a second year player, had won the Bears kicking job coming out of preseason. Pineiro won the spot over Elliott Fry by hitting a 58-yard field goal against the Colts, followed by another 3-for-3 against the Titans in August.

And Gators fans will remember the Miami native having a good college career at Florida. He made 17/18 FG’s during the Gators miserable 2017 season. And combined with his 21/25 the year before, he totaled an 88% field goal career mark.

Pineiro declared for the 2018 NFL Draft after only two seasons with the Gators, but went undrafted. He signed as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders in May of 2018, however, he was placed on injured reserve last September. Earlier this summer, he was traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Finally, let’s keep in perspective that we are not talking Chicago icon status like: Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Ernie Banks and Patrick Kane have.

Still, it was a large moment early in his tenuous Bears kicking career and Pineiro is celebrating, like he should.

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Many state fans still without ACC Network

ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference launched the 24-hour ACC television network in the middle of last month. But for all of the fanfare and build up, there are still hundreds of thousands of football fans in the state of Florida who are without the channel headed into the first weekend of September.

And now, that’s about to be problematic with a scheduled Saturday triple-header of games that will involve FSU, the Miami Hurricanes and the USF Bull’s all being televised, exclusively on the channel.

Now, the ACC and ESPN announced Thursday night a deal with Cox Communications, which serves a good portion of the state and will obviously make their customers happy:

The ACC, led by Commissioner John Swofford (above),  also previously announced a deal with Spectrum Communications to carry the ACC Network. That is a significant amount of coverage in Florida.

And, the ACCN is also available through satellite services like DirecTV and Dish. Plus, it’s available on streaming services like Hulu, Sling and YouTube TV for individual fees.

However, while the ACC and ESPN continue to update new deals being done with providers, customers with Comcast / Xfinity, Frontier Communications and AT&T U-verse are still waiting for the channel. And, those outlets represent hundreds of thousands of college football fans in the combined markets of Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tallahassee.

Fans in those markets with those providers already missed last Thursday night’s opener with #1 Clemson and Georgia Tech, were without last Saturday’s ACCN games, and more importantly, possibly won’t to see their favorite school on the triple header Saturday.

That starts with USF at Georgia Tech at 2 p.m., followed by Florida State hosting Louisiana-Monroe and capped Saturday night by Miami’s opening conference game at North Carolina.

All to be shown exclusively, on the ACCN.

The crux of the problem is the amount of money that ESPN is looking to recoup from each individual customer of the provider. It is the same model that they have followed previously with the SEC Network and with their biggest channels like ESPN and ESPN2.

ESPN and the SEC had much more leverage five years ago at the launch of that television network with a much more rabid following. The SEC Network was picked up by every major provider in the state of Florida before games were ever played in the 2014 season.

Again, ESPN and the conference are negotiating non-stop and may very well get deals with the above major providers that are still holding out. But, it’s entirely possible that when the Noles, the Canes and the Bulls hit the field Saturday many of their fans in the state will not be able to see it, on TV, an app, nothing.

You’ve been warned.

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