Robert Kraft attorneys urge suppression of incriminating massage-parlor video

Video allegedly showing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 77, receiving sexual favors inside a Florida massage parlor should not be allowed into evidence because the warrant was invalid, his attorneys argued Wednesday.

Among their contentions during the three-day hearing that started Monday was that the warrant did not indicate how to protect people who were receiving legitimate massages, reported NBC News.

“You had people looking at these videos who had no idea what they were doing,” Kraft attorney William Burck told the court, according to NBC News. “None of the criteria made sense. That’s not because they are bad people. They didn’t have instructions. If you have no instructions, the warrant has to go.”

Palm Beach County Judge Joseph Marx had blocked prosecutors’ release of the video in mid-April and set a hearing for April 29. Since it was police surveillance footage, it was technically legal to make it public, absent a restraining order, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s office had said before the ruling.

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Spa at center of prostitution scandal involving Robert Kraft
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Spa at center of prostitution scandal involving Robert Kraft
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Television crews are reflected in the window of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: A person looks in a window of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Matthew Gizze (L) and Kevin Brown, both of whom are N.Y. Jets football fans, stop to look at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: A camera man films the Orchids of Asia Day Spa after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: A camera man films the Orchids of Asia Day Spa after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Mike Walsh has his picture taken near the front entrance to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: A Danger sign is seen on the front door of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: People mill around in front of the Orchids of Asia Day Spaafter New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft being charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: People mill around in front of the Orchids of Asia Day Spaafter New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft being charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: People mill around in front of the Orchids of Asia Day Spaafter New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft being charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Mark McGuire, a N.Y. Giants football fan, gives the thumbs up near the front door of the Orchids of Asia Day Spaafter New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft being charged with allegedly soliciting for sex on February 22, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. Mr. Kraft was caught up in a law enforcement operation in South Florida that netted hundreds of johns over the past two weeks.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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While Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser did not rule on whether to exclude the video evidence, he did instruct Kraft to attend a court hearing on May 21, reported USA Today.

A portion of the video has reportedly been offered by an unknown party to at least one celebrity news site, which would not have been constrained by the order.

Kraft frequented the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida on two consecutive days in January and was caught on video as part of a sting conducted in 10 massage parlors from Palm Beach to Orlando.

In February and about 300 other men were charged in the prostitution and human-trafficking investigation.

Kraft received a misdemeanor summons for solicitation but pleaded not guilty, turned down a plea deal and requested a jury trial.

In another of those cases, in neighboring Martin County, Judge Kathleen Roberts excluded video evidence obtained there on the grounds that detectives did not work to avoid filming legitimate massages, according to NBC News.

At least one spa client has sued the Jupiter police department and a detective for videotaping his noncriminal massage, in a lawsuit filed in mid-April.

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