THE INVESTIGATORS: Legal analyst weighs in after Laine Hardy’s arrest

A legal analyst tells the 9News Investigators it’s unlikely Laine Hardy will spend any significant time in jail after being arrested.
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2022 at 1:57 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A legal analyst told the 9News Investigators it’s unlikely Laine Hardy will spend any significant time in jail after being arrested on a felony charge. He is accused of spying on his ex-girlfriend.

RELATED: American Idol winner Laine Hardy accused of putting listening device in ex-girlfriend’s dorm room at LSU

He’s gone from the big screen to the big house. American Idol winner and Livingston Parish native Laine Hardy was booked into the EBR Parish Prison on Friday, April 29, on a number of charges. He is accused of spying on his ex-girlfriend with a listening device.

Music star Laine Hardy left the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison hours after his arrest on Friday, April 29.

According to the warrant, Hardy planted a device that looks like a phone charger in the dorm room at least on two separate occasions in February. The girl and her roommate found the device on April 6, 2022, and reported it to the police the next day. After officers downloaded what was on the device, they say they heard several recordings, including one where the girl was talking to her mom about breaking up with Hardy.

If convicted, the crime carries a fine of up to $10,000 and up to ten years in prison. Attorney Franz Borghardt said the felony charge is pretty serious.

“It is a very serious charge and allegation,” said Borghardt. “Now, is it serious in the sense of murder or rape? No.”

He added it will be up to lawyers on both sides to determine how far to take this but Borghardt believes it’s unlikely hardy will face serious time behind bars.

”I would say if he is, in fact, a first-time offender, it is unlikely that a first-time offender of this type of crime will go to jail. I think the opportunity in my mind as a former prosecutor, I think the opportunity is to say, ‘Okay, is this just a bonehead decision that is not indicative of who he is as a human being and is a mistake or does he need to get some kind of evaluation? Does he need to get some kind of mental health evaluation going on that can determine whether or not this is something that we need to watch as a society and that this kind of behavior will continue?’” asked Borghardt.

The singer posted about the situation to his more than 730,000 followers on social media Thursday, asking the public to give him privacy during the ordeal. Borghardt called it ironic that he’s asking for the very thing he’s accused of denying his ex-girlfriend.

“He’s a public figure. We can’t get around that. He has a following and he’s beloved. If he chooses to use that platform to say, ‘Hey, this thing is about to happen but I want it to be private.’ That’s contradictory in my mind. In fact, that’s bad optics,” explained Borghardt.

Hardy rose to superstar status and became a household name for many across the country when he won American Idol three years ago at 17 years old. Borghardt believes no amount of fame makes Laine Hardy, or anyone else, above the law.

”Yeah, I think the police have to hold him accountable and I think the news has to cover this as a story because they have to hold him accountable but that accountability can manifest itself on the back end in a lot of different ways,” said Borghardt.

Hardy was released on his own recognizance, meaning he did not have to post bond.

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