By: CBS News, Associated Press
April 12, 2019
An attorney for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Friday that video evidence in the prostitution solicitation case against him in Florida was "basically pornography." William Burck told Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser that releasing the video would invade Kraft's privacy and jeopardize his right to a fair trial.
Burck said releasing the video would only satisfy a "prurient interest." He spoke during a hearing held in part to determine whether media outlets could offer arguments in the case. "It's basically pornography," Burck said of the video, according to CBS affiliate WPEC-TV.
Kraft wasn't in court for Friday's hearing, WPEC-TV reports. Last month, he issued an apology, saying he had disappointed his family, friends, co-workers, fans "and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard."
Police obtained a search warrant to secretly record customers at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Police said those cameras captured Kraft twice paying to have sex with spa employees in January.
Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two counts of solicitation. His case is part of a multi-county investigation that resulted in about 300 male customers being charged, 10 massage parlors being closed and their owners charged with felony prostitution.
Investigators initially said they were targeting human traffickers. But Assistant State Attorney Greg Kridos told Hanser Friday that there was no evidence of human trafficking at the Jupiter spa. Burck said the previously highly publicized allegations of human trafficking by both police and State Attorney Dave Aronberg had amounted to "politicking" and that they added to potential harm to Kraft's privacy in releasing video evidence.
Attorneys for media outlets said redacted versions of the video evidence should be released on public interest grounds, and Hanser said that he would grant their motion to intervene in the case. He gave parties a deadline of Tuesday to submit additional documents.
Kraft's attorneys said the videos are not necessary to be released publicly because affidavits describe the acts that took place.