The Latest: Judge orders Kraft video not be released for now
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the prostitution case against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (all times local):
A Florida judge has ordered that a video police say shows New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for sex not be publicly released for now.
Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser accepted arguments by Kraft’s attorneys that releasing the video could harm chances for a fair trial on misdemeanor prostitution charges, and ruled Tuesday that it shouldn’t be handed to the media as a public record until a jury is seated, a plea agreement is reached or the state drops the case.
Kraft was one of several men charged with solicitation after police secretly installed cameras at the Orchids of Asia massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida, in what authorities initially said was an investigation into human trafficking. Prosecutors have since said they found no evidence of trafficking at the spa.
Attorneys for two Florida massage parlor employees plan to ask a judge to hold police and prosecutors responsible for the possible unauthorized release of video that they say shows New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for sex.
The New York Daily News reported last week that someone anonymously contacted TheBlast.com saying they had video showing Kraft naked with another person, presumably a massage therapist at the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter.
Attorneys for spa owner Hua Zhang and therapist Lei Wang planned to ask a judge Tuesday to hold Jupiter police and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office responsible. The court had barred release of the videos until it can be determined if they qualify as public records.
Kraft and the women have pleaded not guilty to prostitution charges.