Robert Kraft and Others Ask to Have Evidence Suppressed in Florida Case
Lawyers for Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, and 14 other men charged with soliciting prostitution in Jupiter, Fla., have filed a motion in Palm Beach County, Fla., to suppress all evidence in the case, which includes hidden camera video of the men inside a massage parlor over several days in late January.
In the filing, the lawyers said the evidence had not been produced in discovery, and therefore should remain confidential. The lawyers added that their clients “dispute the position of the prosecutors that there may be a ‘victim’ of any offense at issue in these cases,” a suggestion that they do not believe sex trafficking was taking place at the massage parlor, as prosecutors have alleged.
In asking the court to suppress the evidence, the lawyers may be trying to prevent the evidence from leaking and becoming public, which could be embarrassing.
Mr. Kraft, by far the most well-known defendant in the group, pleaded not guilty to two first-degree misdemeanor solicitation charges at the end of February. The prosecutors said Mr. Kraft, a first-time offender, was unlikely to face jail time in this case.
On Tuesday, the state attorney’s office in Palm Beach County offered Mr. Kraft and the 24 other men who were similarly accused of soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor called the Orchids of Asia day spa a chance to have the charges dropped if they agreed to do 100 hours of community service, take a class on the dangers of prostitution, get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pay a fine.
The men would also have to agree that if the case had gone to trial, the prosecutors would have won. This would effectively force them to admit guilt even though they have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It is unclear how many of the defendants have agreed to the terms to settle their cases.
The motion to suppress the evidence in the case may be a way for Mr. Kraft and the other defendants to signal that they are unwilling to accept the current deal offered by the prosecutors to have the charges dropped.
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