Kraft's Lawyers File Motion to Suppress ‘Unlawful' Spa Video

His attorneys said police resorted to "the most drastic, invasive, indiscriminate spying conceivable by law enforcement"

Lawyers for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft filed a motion Thursday seeking to suppress videos and evidence from a traffic stop related to his ongoing prostitution case.

The motion, filed in Palm Beach County, seeks to suppress video recordings, saying they are "the fruits of an unlawful sneak-and-peek search warrant" that police in Jupiter, Florida used "to spy on Mr. Kraft and others" while they were in the private rooms of a spa "receiving treatment from licensed masseuses." They are also seeking to suppress evidence from what they refer to as an unlawful traffic stop.

"Florida resorted to the most drastic, invasive, indiscriminate spying conceivable by law enforcement – taking continuous video recordings of private massages in which customers would be stripping naked as a matter of course – in order to prosecute what are at most (according to Florida's own allegations) misdemeanor offenses," Kraft's lawyers said in the filing.

They added that investigators had no justification for going to "such extreme, invasive lengths just to investigate run-of-the-mill suspicious of solicitation," and said the video was obtained "in flagrant violation of the laws of Florida and the United States."

A number of media organizations, including ABC, The Associated Press, ESPN, Gannett, GateHouse Media, McClatchy, The New York Times, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sun-Sentinel and TEGNA, have already filed a motion to oppose attempts to have evidence suppressed by protective order in Kraft's solicitation case.

Earlier this week, Kraft's attorneys filed a court notice waiving his arraignment, which had been scheduled for Thursday. His lawyers also reiterated his not guilty plea, which he made last month, and said that he wants to be tried by a jury and not a judge.

"With a jury trial, all you have to do is get a single juror to hold out for you," said legal analyst Michael Coyne, who doubts the case will ever get that far.

Last week, prosecutors offered to drop charges against Kraft if he were to concede he would be found guilty during his trial.

The Palm Beach County Attorney's Office confirmed the proposed agreement, which has also been offered to 24 other men accused in the widespread soliciting prostitution sting, would also require defendants to complete an education course, 100 hours of community service and a screening for sexually transmitted diseases. 

Those who would concede that they would have been found guilty would also be ordered to pay $5,000 per count. In return, the charges of misdemeanor soliciting prostitution would be dropped.

Coyne believes the new developments mean Kraft and his legal team can buy more time to work out a plea deal the Patriots owner can live with.

The 77-year-old Brookline, Massachusetts, native was charged with two counts of soliciting another for prostitution, a misdemeanor, in February after investigators revealed they had caught him on video engaging in sex acts in an illicit massage parlor in Jupiter, including once hours before the team's AFC Championship Game this year.

Kraft has denied all charges.

Last weekend, he issued his first statement since being charged.

"I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard," his statement said.

"Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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