Prosecutors cannot use secretly recorded video allegedly showing Patriots owner Robert Kraft engaging in massage parlor sex, a judge ruled Monday, striking a serious blow to their case against him and others charged with soliciting prostitutes at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
In his 10-page ruling, Judge Leonard Hanser wrote that 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 customers who only received legal massages.
Hanser also ruled that detectives cannot testify about what they saw on the video or when they stopped Kraft.
If upheld on appeal, Hanser’s ruling could lead to prosecutors dropping the second-degree misdemeanor cases against Kraft and other men charged with paying for sex at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Kraft, 77, has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology.
“The fact that some totally innocent women and men had their entire lawful time spent in a massage room fully recorded and viewed intermittently by a detective-monitor is unacceptable,” Hanser wrote.
He said the judge should have given the officers explicit instruction for how to monitor the video.
Kraft’s attorneys declined comment. Palm Beach County State Attorney spokesman Mike Edmondson said prosecutors were still reviewing the ruling but would appeal if they found a legal basis. The ruling is similar to one in a neighboring county, where a judge also suppressed video of men allegedly paying for massage parlor sex.
Baldwin’s ‘watch’ at end
In what Doug Baldwin termed a “letter to my younger self,” the now-former Seahawks receiver took to Twitter on Sunday night to unveil a 20-tweet thread that served as both a retrospective on his football career and an apparent official retirement notice.
Baldwin ended the thread with a scene from one of his favorite shows, “Game of Thrones,” with the caption, “My watch has ended.” The latest episode of GOT had just aired. Baldwin’s Seattle career ended last Thursday after eight seasons when his contract was terminated, along with that of safety Kam Chancellor.
The Bears have signed three of their five draft picks, agreeing to four-year deals with fourth-rounder Riley Ridley and seventh-rounders Kerrith Whyte Jr. and Stephen Denmark.
... The Eagles have signed quarterback Cody Kessler and brought back offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski.
Seattle Times contributed.