Robert Kraft must wait longer for his day in court.
Judge Leonard Hanser granted Palm Beach County, Fla., attorneys’ request to delay the start of the New England Patriots owner’s prostitution-solicitation trial, according to the Palm Beach Post’s Jorge Milian. Hanser’s ruling gives prosecutors time to appeal his previous decision to suppress video evidence pertaining to Kraft’s misdemeanor case because police illegally obtained it and violated the privacy rights of non-suspects.
Hanser’s stay order indefinitely puts Kraft’s trial on hold, while the appeals process plays itself out. Florida’s 15th Judicial Circuit Court normally would hear the appeal, but Kraft’s lawyers “want the case certified as a ‘matter of great public importance’ and moved up the judicial ladder to the Fourth District Court of Appeals, one step below the state?s top court,” according to The Boston Globe’s John R. Ellement.
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.
Video evidence was crucial to prosecutors’ case against Kraft and others, and most believe the case would dissolve without it.