The maneuvers of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s legal team in his solicitation of prostitution case continued this week with Kraft’s attorneys now going after the police in Jupiter, Florida.
Kraft’s attorneys claim in a 92-page court filing that Jupiter police violated the U.S. and Florida constitutions and misrepresented evidence to obtain a search warrant that allowed them to install cameras as the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, ESPN reported.
They contend that the tactics used to nail Kraft and others are normally reserved for serious crimes rather than the misdemeanor offenses he is facing.
Kraft’s attorneys also claim Jupiter police officers used a fake bomb threat to clear out the spa so they could install the cameras, USA Today reported.
In a motion to suppress the video footage from Kraft’s visit to the spa, one of Kraft’s attorneys said, the Jupiter Police Department “caused a phony ‘suspicious package’ warning to be issued for the Spa in order to force an evacuation so the JPD could install hidden cameras inside several of its private massage rooms, as well as in the Spa’s lobby.”
The cameras were installed Jan. 18, according to the latest filing by Kraft’s attorneys.
The Patriots owner visited the spa Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, with the second visit being just hours before the Patriots played Kansas City in the AFC championship game.
While he was leaving after his second visit, Kraft’s vehicle was stopped as part of an alleged traffic violation, but his attorneys contend the stop wasn’t warranted.
The filing says the traffic stop had the “sole purpose of identifying Mr. Kraft — a passenger in the car — in the absence of any traffic violation or reasonable suspicion of one by the driver.”
“This ruse concealed the execution of the Warrant from the Spa, its employees, and its customers, none of whom received notice of the issuance of the Warrant or the placement of hidden video cameras on Spa premises,” Kraft attorney Jack Goldberger wrote, according to USA Today.
Additionally, under Florida law, police can only make secret recordings when investigating certain serious felonies, the filing says.
Kraft is facing two misdemeanor charges of solicitation. He has denied engaging in any illegal activity at the spa.
“In sum, the worst offenses that jump out from this record are not those committed by one or another masseuse or patron whose massage allegedly included (a) consensual sexual act,” Goldberger wrote.
“Far more worrisome than any alleged misdemeanor are the astonishing lengths to which law enforcement went in order to orchestrate a calculated, systematic campaign to blow past established constitutional limits,” he wrote.
Michael Rubin, a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, defended Kraft during a news conference Wednesday.
“The whole thing was made up by law enforcement,” Rubin said, according to NJ Advance Media. “There was no sex trafficking. It’s a lie. No one was charged. There was no sex trafficking. Law enforcement made it up. He was illegally videoed, illegally pulled over.”
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