The Robert Kraft Case: Prosecution Moves to Release Video Evidence; Judge Issues Temporary Hold
Foxborough, MA– Earlier today, Florida prosecutors said that they planned to release video evidence in the state's case against the owners of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, where dozens of men are alleged to have paid for sex. The video is alleged to show Robert Kraft, the 77-year-old owner of the New England Patriots, paying for sex and engaging in a sexual encounter.
However, this afternoon a judge has intervened, issuing a temporary protective order to delay the release of the videos until April 29, when he will rule on whether or not the videos can be made public.
The case has had many twists and turns since Kraft was charged with two misdemeanor charges of prostitution solicitation based on alleged visits to a Florida spa on the 19th and 20th of January. Since then, Kraft has denied any illegal activity and has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers have been adamant that the videos not be released, arguing that the surveillance cameras were placed there illegally by law enforcement who still has failed to prove that any human trafficking occurred, which was their initial pretext for the investigation of the spa.
The Florida prosecutors of the case announced today that they have intent to reveal police surveillance videos of Kraft and other men paying for sex at the spa, as part of their case against the spa operators. Dave Aronberg, the state attorney for Palm Beach County in Florida, issued a statement that Florida law forces him to release the video to the public due to Florida's lax "Sunshine" laws surrounding public record and what can be prohibited from public access. Officials did say that the videos would be partially pixelated, as is the norm when video evidence contains sex acts or explicit material.
Immediately, the lawyers for Kraft, Lei Wang (alleged spa manager), and Hua Zhang (alleged spa owner), filed a motion to oppose the footage's release, pending a judge's decision. Wang and Zhang have plead not guilty to managing a prostitution house and using the spa as a front.
After filing the emergency motion to withhold this video evidence, Robert Kraft's team of attorneys were quick to dub the video as "pornography," in the hopes that its release would be rejected by the judge as irrelevant. Kraft's lawyers also wrote that the video would violate their client's constitutional rights and, as such, should not be disseminated.
At the end of the day, Judge Joseph Marx decided to issue the temporary hold on the video evidence, saying that he would rule on its release in a hearing on April 29.
Obviously, if the video evidence is necessary to the case, then it should be available to the relevant parties in court, but I think I speak for many people when I say that very little is to be gained from publicly releasing a video of Kraft having sex.
At the same time, it is odd that Kraft is so dead-set on pleading not guilty to the charges of solicitation, given the general consensus that such video evidence exists. We've seen a lot of unsavory sides of Kraft in recent weeks, and it's safe to say that we don't need to see anymore, physical or otherwise.