Judge suppresses video evidence in Robert Kraft's solicitation case

Robert Kraft

(Reuters) - Hidden-camera footage of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at a Florida massage parlor can not be used as evidence in his trial on charges of soliciting prostitution, a judge ruled on Monday in a victory for the billionaire.

Police say Kraft was caught on videotape receiving sex acts in exchange for money at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., on January 19 and January 20.

He and other defendants pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from the footage and other surveillance methods. Hanser explained that the police didn't do enough to protect the privacy of individuals who were receiving lawful massages.

Kraft and his lawyers have been fighting like hell to make sure the video that was made of him and dozens of others stayed out of the public for many reasons, and on Monday, Kraft scored a major win for his case and his sanity.

Attorneys for the owner of the reigning Super Bowl champions had asked the Florida judge to suppress the video, calling it governmental overreach from an illegally obtained search warrant.

Prosecutors argued that the warrant was aimed at stopping a felony-level prostitution operation and legally obtained. They argued video, which is not specifically covered under Florida law, should have a higher threshold.

Jupiter was part of a multicounty investigation of massage parlor prostitution and possible human trafficking that resulted in the arrests of about 300 men and the closure of 10 spas stretching 130 miles (210 kilometers) from Palm Beach to Orlando. Those videos, which will remain sealed, were a key form of evidence in the state's case against Kraft.

Aronberg's office has not yet said how it will handle the two new legal challenges prosecutors face in the Kraft case. His team then won the Super Bowl in Atlanta, the Patriots' sixth National Football League championship under his ownership.

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