An appeals court Wednesday ruled in favor of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, agreeing a lower court judge was correct in suppressing a video secretly recorded by police inside massage parlors.

In June, judges from the 4th District Court of Appeal seated in West Palm Beach heard arguments on whether they should allow secret surveillance video captured by local law enforcement to be part of the evidence in the prostitution case against Kraft, a part-time Palm Beach resident, and others arrested in February 2019.

Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor prostitution offenses filed after authorities revealed a sex-for-pay probe that involved police in three counties video recording hundreds of alleged sex acts performed inside licensed day spas.

Charges were filed against spa owners and workers, nearly 300 male clients and the investigation closed 10 massage businesses.

In a 23-page order, the 4th DCA court concluded that “the trial courts did not err in concluding that total suppression was the appropriate remedy under the circumstances of this case.”

The ruling involves three appeals consolidated last year involving judges in Palm Beach and Indian River counties who granted defense motions to suppress surveillance video recorded with hidden cameras covertly installed inside massage parlors by police and sheriff’s offices.


“We find the trial courts properly concluded that the criminal defendants had standing to challenge the video surveillance and that total suppression of the video recordings was constitutionally warranted,” the opinion stated.

Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser last year ruled in Kraft’s favor by issuing an order that suppressed video evidence police recorded at Orchids of Asia in Jupiter during five days as part of a court-approved warrant.

The controversial “sneak and peek” warrants allowed Jupiter police to install hidden cameras that recorded all activities at the spa at Indiantown Road and U.S. 1. Kraft was recorded visiting the spa and allegedly paying for sexual acts from its staff.

Hanser threw out the videos of Kraft and other spa clients in part by concluding Jupiter Police failed to follow minimization guidelines required to avoid officers taping activities not related to crimes.

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