Robert Kraft’s next legal fight will factor heavily in the war for his reputation.
The New England Patriots owner’s lawyers are trying to prevent Palm Beach County, Fla., officials from ever releasing videos, which allegedly contains him receiving sex acts in exchange for money at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla. Kraft’s lawyers filed a motion Monday night asking a judge to “permanently prohibited from releasing the same videos that it had no legal basis to obtain, much less to retain and release,” according to The Associated Press.
The filing came hours after Florida judge Judge Leonard Hanser granted Kraft’s motion to suppress video evidence pertaining to his misdemeanor prostitution-solicitation case because police illegally obtained it and violated the privacy rights of non-suspects. Hanser’s ruling was a major blow to prosecutors, who had hoped to use the videos to win a conviction against Kraft and at least and 25 other men, whom they have charged with solicitation.
A Florida judge last month ruled prosecutors can’t release the videos until his solicitation trial begins, the case is resolved by plea agreement, the state drops the charges, or the judge decides Kraft’s fair trial rights no longer are at risk.
Kraft’s attorneys want the judge to seal the videos forever because they believe releasing them to the public would harm his reputation.
“Permitting the State to drop the charges so that it can release the illegally obtained Videos would enable the media to serve as an illicit instrument of law enforcement by putting wrongfully obtained materials to their most damaging possible use in the public arena, thereby doing damage far surpassing any possible misdemeanor conviction,” they wrote in the motion.
Police say Kraft was caught on videotape receiving sex acts in exchange for money at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter 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 previously 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 him.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images