Robert Kraft might struggle to keep some of his most embarrassing moments out of the public eye forever.
Florida judge Judge Joseph Marx ruled Monday prosecutors can’t release police surveillance videos of the New England Patriots owner receiving sex acts at a massage parlor before the start of his solicitation trial. Kraft last week won a motion to block the release of the video temporarily, and Marx’s ruling broadens a previous order to cover the cases of Kraft and 25 other men, who have been charged with solicitation.
Under Florida’s public-records laws, Palm Beach County attorney’s office normally might have quickly released videos like those in which Kraft appears. But Kraft’s lawyers are determined to fight the video’s release, and Marx’s order will prevent it from happening until one of these events take place, per The New York Times:
“… trial juries are sworn in each case; the cases are resolved by plea agreement; the state drops the charges; or at a time when the judge finds the fair trial rights of the men are not at risk.”
Palm Beach County attorneys and 10 media companies seeking the release of the video have 30 days to appeal Marx’s ruling to the 4th District Court of Appeals.
Police say Kraft was caught on videotape receiving sex acts in exchange for money at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20. Prosecutors charged him with two misdemeanor counts of solicitation, with the charges stemming from a widespread prostitution and human-trafficking sting that targeted multiple Florida massage parlors. Kraft apologized in a statement but has denied any illegal activity.
Kraft’s legal team asserts police illegally obtained the video and it seeks to suppress it from being admitted as evidence. If the motion succeeds, it would all but end prosecutors’ case against Kraft.
Kraft rejected prosecutors’ offer to drop the charges if he admitted he would lose in court. The NFL is conducting its own investigation into the matter and might discipline Kraft.