Court Rules Secret Videos Can't Be Used in Robert Kraft Solicitation Case

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

New England Patriots' Robert Kraft talks on the sidelines before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft earned a win in court related to his misdemeanor solicitation case in Florida.

Per Terry Spencer and Curt Anderson of the Associated Press, judges from Florida's 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that secret videos recorded by police constituted a violation of Kraft's rights under the Constitution:

"The type of law enforcement surveillance utilized in these cases is extreme. While there will be situations which may warrant the use of the techniques at issue, the strict Fourth Amendment safeguards developed over the past few decades must be observed.

"To permit otherwise would yield unbridled discretion to agents of law enforcement and the government, the antithesis of the constitutional liberty of people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures."

In January 2019, Kraft was one of 25 people charged with soliciting prostitution following a federal investigation into sex trafficking connected to several day spas located in the state of Florida. 

Kraft pleaded not guilty to the two misdemeanor charges and waived his right to an arraignment. 

Per ESPN's T.J. Quinn, four months after the charges were filed, a judge ruled in favor of Kraft's motion to suppress video evidence against him. 

According to the Spencer and Anderson, police said they have two different recordings of Kraft paying for sex acts at the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter, Florida. 

Spencer and Anderson noted that prosecutors are "likely" to file an appeal with the Florida State Supreme Court, but the "misdemeanor charges brought against Kraft and other customers would have to be dropped for lack of evidence" if the ruling stands. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters in May 2019 that the league won't make a final determination on any potential discipline for Kraft until after the legal situation is resolved.