Florida judge temporarily seals video allegedly showing Robert Kraft in prostitution sting
A Florida judge Tuesday sealed the video allegedly showing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft during a prostitution sting at a Florida day spa.
Judge Leonard Hanser temporarily sealed the video based on Kraft’s fair trial rights, and ruled that it can be released once a jury is sworn, the case is resolved via plea agreement or the prosecutors decide they no longer wants to pursue the charges.
Hanser stated that he may reconsider his decision after a suppression hearing set for Friday.
Kraft’s lawyers have maintained that releasing the video would violate his constitutional rights and hamper his chance for a fair trial.
The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office had said in court documents it would release video showing Kraft and 24 other men charged after a monthslong, multijurisdictional sting.
Attorneys for two Florida massage parlor employees plan to ask a judge to hold police and prosecutors responsible for the possible unauthorized release of the video
The New York Daily News reported last week that someone anonymously contacted TheBlast.com saying they had video showing Kraft naked with another person, presumably a massage therapist at the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter.
Attorneys for spa owner Hua Zhang and therapist Lei Wang planned to ask a judge Tuesday to hold Jupiter police and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office responsible. The court had barred release of the videos until it can be determined if they qualify as public records.
Kraft and the women have pleaded not guilty to prostitution charges.
Hundreds of people were charged in the sting involving several massage parlors and day spas in Florida. Kraft faces two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution. He has pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial.
Prosecutors offered to drop the charges in exchange for fines, community service and an admission that he would be found guilty if he went to trial, but a source familiar with the case told CNN that Kraft would not accept the deal.