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Robert Kraft's attorneys fight to keep surveillance videos private in prostitution case

Posted at 8:00 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 14:33:48-04

Attorneys for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft appeared in Palm Beach County court Friday in an attempt to keep surveillance video evidence in his prostitution case private.

Kraft is one of dozens of men charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution as part of a months-long investigation into day spas across Jupiter and the Treasure Coast.

Kraft and his attorneys are asking a judge to seal videos of his alleged sex acts with a spa worker from public view.

Jupiter police said Kraft, who is pleading not guilty to the charges against him, visited Orchids of Asia Day Spa on Jan. 19 and 20. Both times, surveillance video captured a woman performing a sex act on Kraft and showed him paying in cash, according to police.

In court Friday, defense attorney William Burck said Kraft’s constitutional right to privacy trumps Florida’s Sunshine Law, or public records law. Burck also argued the release of the videos would hurt Kraft’s right to a fair trial.

Attorneys representing media organizations said sealing the video would be a violation of Florida's public records law, which could hurt future cases.

Earlier on Friday, Kraft's attorneys appeared at a court hearing for Lei Wang, the manager of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Wang's attorneys also asked a judge to block the release of those surveillance videos, but that judge did not immediately rule on the motion.

In addition to keeping the surveillance videos private, Kraft's legal team has filed an additional motion, asking a judge to not allow the footage to be admissible as evidence at trial.

In that motion, Kraft's attorneys call the evidence "fruits of an unlawful sneak-and-peek search warrant that the town of Jupiter Police Department used to spy on Mr. Kraft."

After a lengthy hearing, the judge has asked both parties to file proposed orders by Tuesday.