Lawyer for Patriots owner Robert Kraft calls prostitution sting video 'unlawful'

By Zachary Fagenson WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - Lawyers for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft grilled a Florida police detective on Friday, seeking to persuade a judge to toss out hidden-camera footage that prosecutors say shows the 77-year-old soliciting prostitution at a massage parlour. 'We think the whole warrant is unlawful,' defence attorney Jack Goldberger told Judge Leonard Hanser in Palm Beach County court near the start of a multiday hearing scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

Reuters April 27, 2019 03:05:54 IST
Lawyer for Patriots owner Robert Kraft calls prostitution sting video 'unlawful'

Lawyer for Patriots owner Robert Kraft calls prostitution sting video unlawful

By Zachary Fagenson

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - Lawyers for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft grilled a Florida police detective on Friday, seeking to persuade a judge to toss out hidden-camera footage that prosecutors say shows the 77-year-old soliciting prostitution at a massage parlour.

"We think the whole warrant is unlawful," defence attorney Jack Goldberger told Judge Leonard Hanser in Palm Beach County court near the start of a multiday hearing scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

Prosecutors responded that Kraft cannot challenge the video's legality because he could not have had any expectation of privacy in the first place.

"An individual who is in a business establishment with no ties to that establishment, much less there to engage in a crime, has no expectation of privacy," Assistant State's Attorney Greg Kridos said.

The video could be key evidence against the billionaire owner of the reigning Super Bowl champions, who faces two misdemeanour counts of soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Spa in Jupiter, Florida, along with some two dozen other men.

Kraft's high-powered legal team is fresh off a win on Tuesday, when they successfully persuaded Hanser to temporarily block prosecutors from releasing the hidden-camera footage to media outlets, which had requested copies under the state's robust open records law.

Kraft, who has owned the Patriots since 1994, pleaded not guilty, but has issued a public apology for his actions.

His attorneys have argued that the surreptitious videotaping of customers, including Kraft, inside a massage parlour was governmental overreach and the result of an illegally obtained search warrant.

The warrant, Kraft's lawyers claim, was secured under false pretences because the application was misleading. Among other alleged flaws, they said, police cited human trafficking as a potential crime in their application but prosecutors have since acknowledged that the investigation yielded no evidence of trafficking.

At Friday's hearing, Alex Spiro, one of Kraft's lawyers, pressed that argument. He spent hours challenging the lead detective, Andrew Sharp, on precisely what he wrote in the warrant affidavit.

Kraft is accused of visiting the day spa twice in January, including on the morning of the day the Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs to earn a Super Bowl berth. Two weeks later, the team won its sixth championship under Kraft's ownership.

(Reporting by Zachary Fagenson, writing by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone, Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Airline easyJet's first-half loss widens as COVID-19 hurts travel, seeks cash
Business

Airline easyJet's first-half loss widens as COVID-19 hurts travel, seeks cash

(Reuters) - Budget airline easyJet on Wednesday reported a bigger loss for the first half as it took a 160-million-pound hit ($199 million) from failed fuel hedging as the COVID-19 pandemic brought global air travel to a virtual standstill. The London-listed company reported a pretax loss of 353 million pounds for the six months ended March 31 from a loss of 272 million pounds last year. Revenue rose 1.6%, though easyJet took a hit from strikes in France, and storms Ciara and Dennis.

Bayer settles Roundup cancer lawsuits for up to $10.9 billion
Business

Bayer settles Roundup cancer lawsuits for up to $10.9 billion

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer AG on Wednesday said it agreed to settle U.S.

Sudan to establish trade financing fund in face of forex shortage
Business

Sudan to establish trade financing fund in face of forex shortage

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan will create a trade financing fund with a portfolio of $2 billion to aid the import and export of key commodities such as wheat, the Finance Ministry said, as the supply of foreign currency in circulation dwindles. Sudan's economy is at risk of freefall, hammered by an inflation rate of more than 100% and frequent shortages of bread, fuel and medicine. The country's currency has also fallen to a record low of 150 Sudanese pounds to the dollar on the black market compared with 55 at the official rate