According to TMZ, a judge has ruled that police video that was recorded of Robert Kraft inside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa & Massage will not be allowed to be used in the current solicitation of prostitution case against him.
A Florida judge ruled today that the video of Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft from inside a spa cannot be used because it was obtained illegally. A win for Kraft.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 13, 2019
BREAKING: Judge grants Robert Kraft's motion to suppress video evidence in his solicitation of prostitution case. State may appeal, but this devastates their case against him.
— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) May 13, 2019
In his 10-page ruling, Judge Leonard Hanser wrote that Jupiter police detectives and the judge who issued the search warrant allowing the secret installation of cameras at the spa did not do enough to minimize the invasion of privacy of customers who only received legal massages. Hanser also ruled that detectives cannot testify about what they saw on the video or when they stopped Kraft.
As the judge wrote: “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.”
Kraft had previously blocked the video from being released to the public, and today’s events should prevent it from seeing the light of day (at least, legally seeing the light of day…it’s allegedly been leaked and shopped around).
Kraft was also infuriated by the conduct of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. Particularly when Kraft was initially charged in February, officials from those offices insinuated that the 77-year-old billionaire was somehow connected to a human trafficking and sex trade ring.
As it turned out, no one—not even the spa’s owners—has been charged with trafficking. Meanwhile, law enforcement has conceded that no such charges are expected.
Kraft and his legal team have maintained that the search warrant used to record him violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. In order for the government to lawfully search someone, or surreptitiously monitor someone while he or she has a reasonable expectation of privacy, there must “probable cause”—a reasonable belief—that the person is partaking in a crime.