In a motion filed Tuesday, Palm Beach County prosecutors asked the judge in Robert Kraft’s prostitution solicitation case to hold two of Kraft’s lawyers in contempt of court. The motion claims that two of the New England Patriots owner’s attorneys, Alex Spiro and William Burck, intentionally made a false statement during a hearing earlier this month. The hearing was to argue whether or not certain evidence—including video described by police as showing a woman manipulating Kraft’s penis—should be suppressed in a criminal trial. The motion also accuses Spiro of tampering with a witness by threatening a police officer outside of the courtroom that same day.
Kraft is charged with two counts of solicitation of prostitution. He has pleaded not guilty in the case.
Both accusations in the motion involve Scott Kimbark, a Jupiter police officer who worked on the Orchids of Asia Day Spa case. Here is how the police’s surveillance worked, according to the motion: During the investigation, uniformed police officers worked in tandem with plainclothes officers and officers who were watching the feed of the camera they installed in the spa. The officers in the viewing room would tell the plainclothes officers when a possible crime was committed, and then those officers would follow that person when they left the spa until the uniformed officers could make a traffic stop to identify him.
According to the motion, while Spiro was questioning Kimbark on the stand, “Spiro repeatedly challenged Officer Kimbark with accusations that his body camera had recorded him telling another officer during the stop previous to that of Defendant Kraft that the lack of probable cause for the stop did not matter because he will just ‘make some shit up.’”
But prosecutors write that the body camera footage shows something else. In the footage, Kimbark—a uniformed officer making the stops—never says he would “make some shit up,” according to a transcript included with the motion. What Kimbark says about the traffic stop of the defendant before Kraft, per that transcript, is: “I’ll come up with something when I tell him.” What that means in context, the motion states, is that Kimbark couldn’t tell the defendant that he was being stopped because of anything that happened near the Orchids of Asia parking lot because doing so might compromise the investigation.
In claiming Kimbark said he would “make shit up,” the motion says that Spiro presented false evidence. The motion also brings up Burck, saying he went up to Spiro and whispered into his ear as Spiro was making the incorrect accusation. In his closing argument, as recounted in the motion, Burck noted that his team didn’t actually have the body cam footage—and therefore the evidence to back up their claim—but that “we saw it one time and so it was based on our recollections.”
In addition, Spiro is also accused by prosecutors of threatening Kimbark outside of the courtroom on that same day. When court broke for lunch, Spiro asked Kimbark if one of the undercover policemen, officer Michael Nicholson, would say any “stupid shit” during his testimony. Kimbark replied that Nicholson would be honest. The following comes from Kimbark’s sworn affidavit, which he gave after his testimony because he told an assistant state attorney about Spiro’s actions:
After returning from lunch break, Spiro approached me and stated that “people say stupid things.” I replied that I was aware and that I’m sure I say stupid things as well. Spiro stated, “I have video of you saying stupid shit.” His facial expressions as he smirked and raised his eyebrows along with his accusing statement intimidated me to believe I had done something wrong. Spiro further advised that I seemed really cool and he felt conflicted to use it against me. Spiro stated he had it in his back pocket if Nicholson were to say something crazy. Before entering the courtroom, he then told me if Nicholson doesn’t testify he wouldn’t use the video.
Kimbark went on to say in the sworn affidavit that Spiro’s actions prevented the officer from swearing under oath that he had never made the “make shit up” comment, even though he knew he would never say that, because Spiro told him that he had the video.
Florida law doesn’t give specific penalties for criminal contempt, but the motion requests that the court strike from the record Kimbark’s testimony, and “(grant) such further relief as the court deems just and proper.”
When reached by USA Today for comment, William Burck said that the accusations against him and Spiro were “ridiculous, false and laughable” and called what was going on “amateur hour.” Burck added that Kraft’s legal team does have evidence that Kimbark did, in fact, make the remark they accused him of saying, and Burck said they’ll submit it to the court on Wednesday.
The full motion is below: