Florida prosecutors to release tapes of Kraft prostitution sting -report

by Reuters
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 19:17 GMT

By Dan Whitcomb

April 17 (Reuters) - Florida prosecutors will release video of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and two dozen other men inside a Florida massage parlor where they were arrested in a prostitution sting despite the billionaire' s legal objections, the Boston Globe reported on Wednesday.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney's office said in court papers that its prosecutors were obligated under Florida law to make public the tapes recorded by police on hidden cameras, the Globe reported. A spokesman for the office could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The police chief of Jupiter, Florida, said on Feb. 22 that Kraft, 77, and 24 other men were facing misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution following a six-month investigation of sex trafficking at massage parlors.

Lawyers for Kraft, who has apologized for his actions at the Orchids of Asia Spa but pleaded not guilty to the charges, on Friday asked a Palm Beach County judge to suppress the videotaped evidence of their client, saying it amounted to "basically pornography."

Kraft's lead attorney in the case, William Burck, could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Media companies including ABC and ESPN opposed the motion, saying the judge would violate Florida's public records laws by suppressing the video.

Kraft in 1994 purchased the Patriots, one of the National Football League's most successful franchises and winner of this year's Super Bowl. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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