WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS) — A Florida appeals court has agreed to hear oral arguments in Robert Kraft’s prostitution case. Prosecutors are appealing a lower court decision to toss video that allegedly shows the New England Patriots owner engaging in sex acts at a day spa in Jupiter.
Kraft pleaded not guilty to two charges of soliciting a prostitute in February 2019. According to police records, officers secretly recorded him engaging in a sex act with women at the Orchids of Asia spa and then handing them cash on two separate occasions leading up to the AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs.
Judge Leonard Hanser struck a major blow to the prosecution’s case when he ruled in May 2019 that prosecution could not use video from inside the massage parlor in court. Hanser said Jupiter police detectives and the judge who issued the search warrant allowing the secret installation of cameras at the spa did not do enough to minimize the invasion of privacy of other customers, some of whom only received legal massages.
Lawyers for Kraft filed a motion immediately after Hanser’s decision to try and prevent the video from ever being released. Public records law in Florida gives the media access to all records and evidence in court cases.
It will likely be several months before the appeal is heard. The appeals court said Thursday that both sides “shall confer and file a joint response addressing the suggested manner in which oral argument is to proceed, including, within the next two months, the most optimum date to proceed, the total number of minutes requested per side, and the suggested breakdown of allotted time to each party.”