24 Oras report
The Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 159 dismissed the case against celebrity Hayden Kho Jr. on Tuesday, who was charged with violating the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004. PEP.ph reports that the court’s decision was due to "insufficiency of evidence" in the case that stemmed from the viral spread of sex tapes featuring Kho and actress Katrina Halili last year.
According to the statement that Kho’s legal counsel sent to PEP.ph, there were two cases filed against the former cosmetic surgeon: "(a) the act of taking a video of the sexual encounter without the knowledge and consent of private complainant (Halili), causing her psychological and emotional distress; and (b) the act of uploading the sex video on the Internet, causing (Halili) mental and/or emotional anguish and humiliation."
Kho’s legal counsel said the court found "that the video camera (used to record the sex videos) was situated in an open and unconcealed place which cannot escape unnoticed" thus the court "cannot believe the prosecution’s insistence that the private complainant was unaware of the video taking." The legal counsel added, "The prosecution failed to present ANY evidence on the charge of illegally uploading the videos."
"The taking of the sex video... becomes a crime only when the said act ’alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman,’" Kho’s legal counsel said in the statement. "However, as correctly pointed out by the Court, the expert witnesses of the prosecution themselves--namely the NBI psychologist-in-charge, Ms. Alcuaz, and the NBI psychiatrist, Dr. Papa--testified that the cause of the psychological distress of complainant Halili is the uploading of the video, NOT the video taping of the encounter."
On the other hand, Halili’s legal counsel, lawyer Raymund Palad, said they will file an appeal, reports PEP.ph.
Sen. Bong Revilla, who championed Halili’s cause in Congress, said in a GMANews.tv report, "Kagulat-gulat ang naging desisyon ng korte, na naging taliwas sa malinaw na kongklusyon sa imbestigasyon sa Senado at sa pananaw ng publiko (The court’s decision is surprising. It goes against the clear conclusion of the Senate investigation and the public’s opinion)."