Robert Kraft's prostitution case continues to wind its way through the legal system, and an attorney for the New England Patriots owner criticized the police's surveillance tactics that helped lead to his arrest.
"In all of these cases is the specter of a police state, one where police can inject the most invasive forms of surveillance into the most sensitive and private of settings to investigate the most mundane of offenses," Derek L. Shaffer said, per the Boston Globe's John R. Ellement.
ESPN's T.J. Quinn provided more context surrounding the situation:
"The key question in the case is whether police 'minimized' surveillance as required under the law. Kraft's attorneys convinced Judge Leonard Hanser last year that police violated the defendants' rights by running video indiscriminately for the entire three days of their investigation, failing to stop recording when it was clear that some parties were not receiving illegal services.
"Florida deputy solicitor general Jeffrey DeSousa argued Tuesday that police were not required to specify how they would minimize surveillance in the search warrant request, and that they effectively minimized the surveillance by only conducting it for the three days."
Authorities charged Kraft with soliciting prostitution in February 2019 as part of a larger sex trafficking investigation into the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. According to a CNN report, camera footage showed a female employee "manipulating his genitals and later wiping Kraft's genitals with a towel."
CNN's Jason Carroll and Kevin Conlon reported Kraft wouldn't accept a plea deal, which would've seen him receive a fine and community service and require him to admit he would've been guilty in a full-scale trial.
The 79-year-old pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts, and his representatives contended that any surveillance video from the spa should be suppressed because it was unlawfully obtained. A judge ruled in Kraft's favor in May 2019, which saw the footage thrown out.
Shaffer's statement Tuesday was part of oral arguments in front of Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeals. Prosecutors are attempting to reverse the judge's decision and have the video evidence be allowed back into the case.
Quinn wrote that legal experts believe the prosecution's case "could fall apart" if the appeal is unsuccessful.