Judge suppresses video in Kraft solicitation case

A judge in Palm Beach County has granted New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s motion to suppress video evidence in his solicitation case.

With the ruling Monday by Judge Leonard Hanser, the case against Kraft and the other men charged with solicitation of prostitution could be effectively dead. The state may appeal the ruling, but this represents a blow to the prosecution’s case against him.

Hanser had last week set a May 21 date for Kraft and his attorneys to appear in court to schedule a trial date. But that appearance is now unlikely to happen.

Kraft’s attorneys had argued the warrant allowing the video included no instructions on how to protect innocent people, that detectives didn’t try to use less intrusive investigative methods, and that the lead detective was reckless in his statements in the warrant.

Judge Hanser agreed in his ruling, writing, “The Court finds that the search warrant does not contain required minimization guidelines, and the minimization techniques employed in this case did not satisfy constitutional requirements … all evidence against the Defendant obtained through and connection with the search warrant is suppressed.”

Hanser added that the police stop of Kraft’s car on Jan. 19 was an unlawful search, and as such, all information obtained from that search is also suppressed.

Kraft was one of almost 300 men who were charged in February with paying for sex acts following police busts at 10 massage parlors that stretched from the Palm Beach area to Orlando.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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