Kentucky Judge Declares Porn Clips 'More Distracting' Than Other Visual Content

Kentucky Judge Declares Porn Clips 'More Distracting' Than Other Visual Content

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The legal status of porn videos as a specific kind of content has unexpectedly emerged as a side issue during a Kentucky murder trial currently underway, with a judge declaring adult content to be more distracting than "a typical movie.”

On Christmas Eve 2018, Roger Burdette hit a police car with his MSD tanker truck, causing a crash and explosion that killed LMPD Detective Deidre Mengedoht in downtown Louisville.

“Prosecutors claim Burdette was watching pornography on his cell phone moments before the crash, and that he had drugs in his system that impaired his motor skills,” local station WDRB reported.

Burdette failed a field sobriety test and initially said that he had taken “non-narcotic prescription drugs.” Prosecutors charged him with murder and DUI.

Yesterday, Burdette's defense asked Judge McKay Chauvin to “prohibit prosecutors from telling jurors that Burdette was watching pornography when the wreck occurred, arguing that there is a ‘social stigma’ associated with porn and the type of video Burdette was watching is unimportant,” WDRB reported.

"It doesn't matter what type of video is being played," Burdette’s attorney argued. "What matters is [the] distraction."

The prosecutors, however, countered with the allegation that Burdette “specifically was looking for a certain porn video that he had watched before, and was not listening to dialogue, meaning he was more distracted,” according to WDRB.

The judge agreed, ruling pornography is “a visual medium” and would be “a greater distraction than a typical movie.”

The judge did not clarify what this assessment might be based on, or how "pornography" would be defined as distinct from other forms of visual content or sexual expression.

Burdette’s trial continues this week.

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