A judge on Monday ruled in favor of Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots. According to CNN, a video showing Kraft inside of a massage parlor in Florida will not be allowed into evidence at Kraft’s trial for soliciting prostitution.
Attorneys for Kraft requested the video be disqualified as evidence based on government overreach and an illegal search warrant.
The judge, who works in Palm Beach County, cited the absence of minimization procedures that would allow privacy to massage parlor clients. In the 12 page ruling penned by Judge Leonard Hanser, he says the necessary minimization guidelines are not present in the search warrant.
The incidents leading up to the two soliciting prosecution cases against Robert Kraft took place on January 19th and 20th. Prosecutors expected the video to a major part of the case they present against Kraft.
Other defendants in the case will also benefit from the video footage being suppressed.
Michael Edmonson, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County District Attorney’s office, sent an email explaining the DA’s office would be reviewing the order from Judge Hanser. The email did not discuss whether or not an appeal was planned by the DA’s office.
Judge Hanser also suppressed the details of a traffic stop involving Kraft on January 19. Police stopped a chauffeured car Kraft was riding in to identify the man seen on the video just minutes before the stop.
Hanser’s ruling deemed the traffic stop was unlawful due to the fact law enforcement were not aware of his identity until a traffic stop was executed. Hanser ruled that all information gathered from the search to be suppressed.
Prosecutors argued the 77-year-old NFL owner enjoyed no presumption of privacy within the massage parlor due to the fact it is a business establishment.
A month ago, Hanser told prosecutors they would not be allowed to release the video to the media. The video was requested by various media outlets under the open records law.
Kraft pleaded not guilty to the charges and apologized for becoming involved in the matter.
Lawyers for Kraft maintain the original search warrant for the surveillance cameras was obtained under false pretenses. Police claimed they had evidence of human trafficking taking place at the massage parlor. Prosecutors have since admitted that no evidence of human trafficking has been discovered.