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Judge blocks release of video, audio evidence in Jupiter spa prostitution case

Orchids of Asia Day Spa
Posted at 4:17 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 19:03:00-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A Palm Beach County judge has officially filed an order to temporarily seal all video and audio recordings in a prostitution case involving a Jupiter day spa.

Judge Joseph Marx said he'd seal the evidence at an April 29 hearing for Lei Wang and Hua Zhang, workers at Orchids of Asia Day Spa. But on Wednesday, he made that decision official by signing a court order.

Under the judge's order, all video and audio recordings from the spa, as well as police body camera footage, cannot be released to the public unless:

  • A jury is seated at trial
  • A plea deal is reached
  • The state drops charges against Wang and Zhang
  • The Court finds the fair trial rights of the defendants are not at risk

That decision follows a similar ruling made last month in the case against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Judge Leonard Hanser ruled surveillance video of Kraft allegedly receiving an illegal sex act cannot be released to the public, at least for now.

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Jupiter police said surveillance video video showed a masseuse performing a illegal sex act on Kraft on Jan. 19, with Wang present in the private massage room.

Kraft's legal team is asking a judge to block that surveillance video from being admitted as evidence at trial.

In February, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder announced the results of an eight-month investigation, which he said uncovered prostitution operations at five day spas from Jupiter to Hobe Sound.

According to the Sheriff, the spas involved were:

  • Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter
  • Cove Day Spa in Stuart
  • Therapy Spa in Stuart
  • Bridge Day Spa in Hobe Sound
  • Sequoia Apple Day Spa in Hobe Sound

Kraft has pleaded not guilty to charges of soliciting another to commit prostitution, and has requested a jury trial.