Court Roundup

Florida
Hulk Hogan sues friend, gossip site over sex video

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan sued a disc jockey, the DJ’s ex-wife and a gossip website Monday after a sex tape involving Hogan and the woman was posted online.
Hogan said in two lawsuits that he had consensual sex with his best friend’s wife, Heather Clem, about six years ago in the Clemses’ home, but he did not know he was being secretly recorded.
“Mr. Hogan had a reasonable expectation of his privacy, just as all Americans have a reasonable expectation of their privacy in their bedrooms,” attorney Charles Harder said.
The video was posted on the online gossip site Gawker. Hogan is seeking $100 million in damages from the New York-based media company, which declined comment.
It’s unclear who gave the video to Gawker.
In the suit against the Clemses, Hogan claimed the video caused “severe and irreparable injury which cannot be adequately compensated by monetary damages.” Hogan is seeking the rights to the video in both lawsuits.
Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, wore a tight black T-shirt, black pants and dark sunglasses as he stood outside of the federal court in Tampa while his attorneys spoke to the news media. He did not comment.
It’s not clear whether Hogan and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem are still friends. The Clemses have since divorced.
Hogan acknowledged on various TV talk shows recently that he had sex with Heather Clem while he was married to Linda Hogan. The Hogans have also divorced.
Hogan, his ex-wife and the couple’s son and daughter have appeared on the reality show “Hogan Knows Best.”
Stephen Diaco, a lawyer for Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, said Hogan was the best man at the Clemses’ wedding and he is also a godfather to their child.
“My hope is that these two can preserve their friendship,” said Diaco. “I can’t comment on the suit. This has caused harm to Bubba and he didn’t release it, he didn’t condone the release of it. He wants to find out who did that and he wants that person to be held accountable.”
It is illegal in Florida to record someone without their permission, but Hogan waited too long to file criminal charges.


Florida
Zimmerman wants better access to case evidence

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys for former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman said in a motion Monday that prosecutors are dragging their feet on turning over evidence.
Zimmerman’s attorneys said prosecutors aren’t turning information over in a timely manner and are providing some material in a format that’s useless for defense experts to examine. They’re asking for monthly hearings to manage the turnover of evidence from prosecutors to defense lawyers.
“The state’s approach to discovery has been to require the defense to figure out what the state has failed to provide and then ask for it rather than fulfilling the state’s legal obligation to provide complete and timely discovery,” attorney Donald West said in the motion.
A spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately respond to an email and phone call seeking comment.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a confrontation in a central Florida gated community in February.
Zimmerman’s attorneys also asked prosecutors for cellphone photos taken by a witness and a police officer on the night of the shooting.
Zimmerman’s latest filings come less than a week after his attorneys asked prosecutors for any evidence that might suggest Martin’s civil rights were violated by Zimmerman. Martin was black, and Zimmerman has a Peruvian mother and a white father.
The U.S. Justice Department launched a probe into the initial handling of the investigation after Zimmerman wasn’t arrested for 44 days after the shooting. Zimmerman’s attorneys also asked for information on any probe into the Sanford Police Department’s handling of racial tension in Sanford after Martin’s death.
Martin’s parents and supporters claim that the unarmed teenager was targeted because he was black and that Zimmerman started the confrontation that led to the shooting. But Zimmerman’s family members have denied that he was racist in anyway.
Martin’s parents have started a website aimed at changing “stand your ground” laws around the nation. ChangeforTrayvon.com was launched this week. A Florida task force charged with reviewing the Sunshine State’s “stand your ground” law is in Jacksonville on Tuesday for its sixth meeting.

Kentucky
Federal judge allows hate crime case to proceed

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has turned away a challenge to a federal hate crimes law and allowed jury selection to start for two eastern Kentucky men charged under the statute.
Attorneys were set to begin selecting a panel Tuesday to hear the case against 20-year-old Anthony Ray Jenkins of Partridge and his cousin, 37-year-old David Jason Jenkins of Cumberland. The two are charged in federal court in London with kidnapping and assaulting Kevin Pennington at Kingdom Come State Park in Harlan County on April 4, 2011. They have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors say Pennington was attacked because he’s gay.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ruled on Monday the law is constitutional because Congress wrote the statute in such a way as to ensure federal authorities would have the ability to prosecute people for attacks based on sexual orientation.

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