The Palm Beach County judge overseeing Robert Kraft’s criminal case has said that certain pieces of evidence can be tossed. County Judge Leonard Hanser wrote in his ruling today that video—which police said showed Kraft receiving sex acts he later paid for at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa—can be suppressed because the warrant that allowed the recording did not have enough rules in place to protect innocent spa customers. Hanser also ruled that evidence gathered from a subsequent traffic stop of the car in which the New England Patriots owner was a passenger also can be tossed.
Kraft was charged earlier this year with two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution by police in Jupiter, Florida. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Ultimately, Hanser sided with the arguments presented by Kraft’s defense lawyers. First, Hanser agreed that Kraft has a “reasonable, subjective expectation of privacy” inside a massage room. The judge then drilled down on the many ways he believed the search warrant, which was approved by a different judge, failed to outline proper steps for minimizing recording. The warrant did not talk about how to minimize surveillance of women clients, who were not suspected of paying for sex acts, nor did it talk about how to minimize recording of men who just got massages, he wrote. Hanser also said that the minimization steps put in place by police were not enough, noting that “the detective-monitors were simply left to their own standards and devices to satisfy the minimization requirement.”
Ultimately, the minimization techniques used “did not satisfy constitutional requirements,” Hanser wrote. The ruling also tossed evidence gathered during the subsequent police stop of Kraft’s car. The explanation for that decision is much briefer:
The ruling in full is below.