Judge delays ruling on whether video evidence in Robert Kraft sex spa case should be public

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — A judge Friday did not rule on whether to grant an order to protect the release of evidence, including videos, of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter.

The videos are said to show Kraft, 77, and other men getting sex services from masseuses. Kraft, who was not at the hearing, is facing two misdemeanor charges on solicitation of prostitution stemming from two visits in January.

Attorneys for Kraft and media organizations must provide orders by Tuesday that County Court Judge Leonard Hanser will consider.

“He’ll look at both of those orders and make a decision,” said Deanna Shullman, an attorney representing the media. “He wants to know what either side would propose that his ultimate ruling look like.”

The case involving Orchids of Asia began being disclosed Feb. 19 at a media briefing at the Martin County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff William Snyder said his agency targeted four spas in Martin County and spoke of the cases in the context of human trafficking.

Investigators ultimately were led to Orchids of Asia Day Spa in the neighboring Palm Beach County community of Jupiter where covert surveillance cameras were installed after investigators got a "sneak-and-peek" warrant.

Kraft's alleged involvement in the case was disclosed days later. 

Follow Martin County sheriff's deputies through Bridge Day Spa, one of the spas involved in a prostitution ring bust.

In court Friday, Assistant State Attorney Greg Kridos said at the outset of the investigation into the spa, there appeared to be human trafficking involved but as the case went on, and after evaluating the evidence, that didn't appear to be the case.

Much of the three-and-a-half-hour hearing at the Palm Beach County Courthouse was spent with William Burck, one of Kraft’s attorneys, giving reasons why he thought the videos should not be public.

Burck declined comment after the hearing.

Burck gave three reasons why the judge should grant a protective order: The material is exempt because it is an active criminal investigation; a motion to suppress on April 26 on Fourth Amendment grounds should be heard by the court before any decision is made to release the video by the state or Jupiter. He also said the video would compromise Kraft’s right to a fair trial.

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