A Florida judge ruled Monday that video purporting to show New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for sex acts at a massage parlor is inadmissible at the 77-year-old’s forthcoming trial on misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution.
Judge Leonard Hanser wrote that Jupiter police did not follow proper procedures after installing hidden cameras which secretly recorded Kraft visiting the Orchids of Asia Day Spa twice this past January and did not do enough to minimize the invasion of privacy of customers who did nothing wrong.
“The fact that some totally innocent women and men had their entire lawful time spent in a massage room fully recorded and viewed intermittently by a detective-monitor is unacceptable,” Hanser wrote in a decision that capped a multi-day pre-trial hearing punctuated by occasional bad-tempered exchanges between prosecutors and Kraft’s legal team. The state is expected to appeal.
Kraft, who has owned the Patriots since 1994, is one of 25 men charged with paying between about $50 and $100 for sex at the day spa. He has pleaded not guilty, but issued a public apology for his actions. NFL officials have said they are watching the case, but have not disciplined Kraft. Under league policy, players, owners, coaches and other employees can be punished for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL. – READ MORE