New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is getting off the hook for a solicitation charge. Kraft was caught with his pants down in a raid of a West Palm Beach Florida massage parlor in January 2019 and was formally charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in February 2019. The charges could have led to up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Even if he had just pled guilty to a misdemeanor with no jail time as part of a plea bargain, the pubic humiliation was not all that Robert Kraft was looking at. As an NFL team owner, league morals rules could have forced him to sell the Patriots if he admitted to the charges.
Kraft was one of 77 people arrested as part of the police investigation. Asian massage parlors are known for using victims of human trafficking as sex slaves. Authorities installed hidden cameras inside of the spa in question. But even with a warrant, lawyers challenged the constitutionality of the videos.
It would seem that all of the men who were arrested were fortunate that a billionaire was among them. Robert Kraft’s lawyers successfully argued that by placing the camera inside the location law enforcement had violated the defendants’ rights because anyone who went in would have been filmed. Since police could not have known if they were not also filming people who were only getting massages ten the covert videos should not be allowed as evidence, the lawyers said.
Well, the argument worked as a Florida judge threw out the video evidence in a May 2019 ruling.
But Florida prosecutors vowed to appeal. That appeal was denied in an August ruling by an appeals court. Now comes word that the Florida solicitor general has decided not to appeal the denial of his first appeal. So Robert Kraft may have lost Tom Brady, but he now has something to celebrate.
“We were disappointed by the Fourth District’s decision,” Kylie Mason, the attorney general’s press secretary, told CNN.
“These attorneys determined that review was unlikely and raised concerns that a decision by the Florida Supreme Court against the State on these case facts could have broader, negative implications beyond the limited facts of this case, which could affect law enforcement efforts in the future.”
Now Robert Kraft’s lawyers are also asking that the videos of their client be destroyed, lest someone someday put them online. “Only by ordering the State to destroy the Videos and to comply with interim measures securing them can the Court guard against the palpable risk of a further leak or misuse and correspondingly vindicate the constitutional principles and rights that are at stake in this case,” USA Today cited Robert Kraft attorney Frank Shepherd as having written to the court.