Two solicitation of prostitution charges filed against Robert Kraft in Florida were dropped on Thursday, bringing to an end a nineteen month long saga that plagued the New England Patriots owner.
The decision, expected after a string of legal defeats weakened the prosecution’s case, marks a definitive victory for Kraft, who claimed that his constitutional rights were violated when police videotaped him in a spa in Jupiter, Florida, where he got a massage on two consecutive days in January 2019.
Kraft was one of dozens of patrons allegedly caught on secret cameras receiving illicit massages at a West Palm Beach spa in January 2019. The recordings, which have not been made public, are the only known evidence the men paid for sex.
A county court judge originally threw out the recordings, saying the warrant allowing the cameras’ installation didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages.
“The type of law enforcement surveillance utilized in these cases is extreme,” the appellate court ruling that effectively left Kraft off the hook said.
“While there will be situations which may warrant the use of the techniques at issue, the strict Fourth Amendment safeguards developed over the past few decades must be observed.
“If they are not, any evidence obtained could very well be declared inadmissible as a matter of constitutional law.”
Kraft pleaded not guilty to the charges last year and offered an apology, saying he “hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard.”