A judge in Florida has handed New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft a major victory in his forthcoming trial on misdemeanor soliticitation of prostitution at a spa. Prosecutors won't be able to use the video after the judge said police did not follow proper procedures while installing hidden cameras that secretly recorded the Patriots owner when he visited the Orchids of Asia Day Space in January.
Because police did not properly meet constitutional requirements, Judge Leonard Hanser suppressed all evidence obtained from the video.
"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 his ruling.
Kraft was one of 25 people caught up in a police sting that was part of a probe into human trafficking at the Orchids of Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft and the other men were accused of allegedly paying between $50 and $100 for sex at the day spa. Kraft pleaded 'not guilty' and has issued a public apology for his actions.
Prosecutors offered to drop the charges against Kraft if he entered a diversion program for first-time offenders. As part of the deal, Kraft would have needed to admit he would have been found guilty at trial, pay a $5,000 fine, conduct 100 hours of community service, and attend a class on the dangers of prostitution. Kraft reportedly turned the deal down.
Prosecutors are expected to appeal Hanser's ruling.
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