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In legal victory for Robert Kraft, judge suppresses video in prostitution case

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 5/13/2019 Danny McDonald

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Robert Kraft scored a major legal victory Monday when a Florida judge suppressed video evidence that allegedly shows the New England Patriots owner paying for sex acts inside a spa, substantially weakening the government’s case.

In a 10-page ruling in Palm Beach County, Judge Leonard Hanser sided with Kraft’s lawyers, who had argued the warrant Jupiter, Fla., police obtained to secretly install cameras inside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa was flawed.

“Defendant’s motion to suppress is granted and all evidence obtained against defendant through and in connection with the search warrant is suppressed,” Hanser wrote.

The cameras allegedly captured Kraft and 24 other men paying for sex at the Jupiter spa during a multi-day surveillance operation in January. Kraft, 77, has denied engaging in criminal activity, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor prostitution solicitation charges, and requested a jury trial.

It wasn’t immediately clear if State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office would appeal Hanser’s ruling, continue prosecuting the case against Kraft without the footage, or drop the charges.

The ruling followed a recent hearing on Kraft’s motion to suppress the video footage, in which Hanser heard testimony from police and public health officials involved in the Orchids case.

Bob Hohler of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jrebosglobe.

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