FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla .– Florida prosecutors said Monday they would not appeal a court ruling dismissing video tapes allegedly showing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for sex acts in a living room. massage, making misdemeanor charges against him and other clients likely. to be abandoned.Prosecutors have ruled that if they challenge the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals decision last month in the state Supreme Court and lose, it could have “broader and negative implications” for futures. police investigations, the Florida attorney general’s office said.The Fourth District Court ruling found that Jupiter police had violated the rights of Kraft and others by secretly installing video cameras in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa massage rooms in early 2019 and banned them from doing so. use at trial.
“Based on this analysis and after consulting with the prosecutor’s office, the decision was made not to seek further discretionary review,” Attorney General spokeswoman Kylie Mason said in an email to at the Associated Press.
The state’s decision means the charges against Kraft and around 20 other men will likely be dismissed. The tapes, which have not been made public, are the only known evidence that the men paid for sex.
Felony’s charges against the owners and employees of the Orchids of Asia spa could be prosecuted as there is other evidence against them, such as financial records.
Lawyers for Kraft declined to comment on the ruling, but filed a motion Monday asking that the tapes be destroyed so they can never be made public. They said Kraft might be prepared to pay the state fee if someone challenges a destruction order.
“It is only by ordering the State to destroy the videos and to comply with the provisional measures that guarantee them that the Court can guard against the palpable risk of leakage or misuse and assert the consequences accordingly. constitutional principles and rights that are at stake in this case, ”Kraft lawyer Frank Shepherd wrote.
Kraft, 79, and others were indicted in February 2019 as part of a multi-country investigation of massage parlors that included covert installation of video cameras in lobbies and spa rooms. Police say the tapes show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying for them.
Police said they recorded Kraft, a widower, paying for sex acts at the Orchids of Asia spa on consecutive days in January 2019. Kraft pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology for his actions.
A county court judge initially threw away the tapes, saying the warrant for the cameras to be installed did not sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent clients who had received legal massages. The Fourth District Court agreed, ruling last month that planting video cameras in private spaces is an “extreme” measure that should only be used when absolutely necessary.
“Allowing the opposite would give unbridled discretion to law enforcement and government officials, the antithesis of people’s constitutional freedom to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures,” the court ruled.
Prosecutors argued that they needed the tapes to convict the Asian Orchids owning crimes, including possible human trafficking – although no one has been charged with the crime. Homeowners must be shown receiving payments from prostitutes and the only way to do that is to install cameras, prosecutors said.
If convicted, Kraft would likely have received a fine, community service and other penalties that did not include imprisonment.
According to Forbes Magazine, Kraft is worth nearly $ 7 billion. He employed several very expensive lawyers to defend him in this case. Even if the charges are dropped, Kraft could still face suspension or other sanction from the National Football League.