Florida court rules that secret videos can't be used against Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 78, in prostitution case - and now all charges could be dropped due to lack of evidence

A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that police violated the rights of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes' use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution.
The state 4th District Court of Appeal ruled Kraft's rights were violated under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
'The type of law enforcement surveillance utilized in these cases is extreme. 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,' the judges ruled. 
'To permit otherwise would yield unbridled discretion to agents of law enforcement and the government, the antithesis of the constitutional liberty of people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures,' the court added. 
A Florida appeals court ruled that police violated the rights of Patriots owner Robert Kraft (pictured) and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes' use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution
A Florida appeals court ruled that police violated the rights of Patriots owner Robert Kraft (pictured) and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes' use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution 
In this February 19, 2019, file photo, a sign is posted outside of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, in Jupiter, Fla. A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that police violated the rights of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes' use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution
In this February 19, 2019, file photo, a sign is posted outside of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, in Jupiter, Fla. A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that police violated the rights of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes' use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution
Prosecutors will likely appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court, but if it stands the misdemeanor charges brought against Kraft and other customers would have to be dropped for lack of evidence.
Felony charges against the Orchids of Asia spa owners and employees might proceed as there is other evidence besides the tapes against them.

Kraft, 79, and others were charged in February 2019 in a multi-county investigation of massage parlors that included the secret installation of video cameras in the spas' lobbies and rooms. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them.  
Kraft visited the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter, Florida twice in a 24-hour span in January, according to police records.
The first visit occurred on January 19, 2019, when Kraft allegedly received hand stimulation from 45-year-old spa manager Lei Wang and a 58-year-old spa employee named Shen Mingbi.
Kraft allegedly visited 45-year-old spa manager Lei Wang (pictured) and a 58-year-old spa employee named Shen Mingbi. Neither woman is alleged to have been trafficked
Kraft allegedly visited 45-year-old spa manager Lei Wang (pictured) and a 58-year-old spa employee named Shen Mingbi. Neither woman is alleged to have been trafficked 
A camera man films the Orchids of Asia Day Spa after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex at the establishment during two January visits 
A camera man films the Orchids of Asia Day Spa after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with allegedly soliciting for sex at the establishment during two January visits 
Neither Wang nor Mingbi are believed to be victims of human trafficking.
According to the affidavit, Kraft paid both women with a $100 bill.
Wang was arrested and charged with maintaining a house of prostitution, but Mingbi was never charged.
The second visit occurred on January 20, 2019, just hours before Kraft flew to Kansas City for the AFC Title game between the Patriots and the Kansas City Chief.
That day, Kraft allegedly received oral sex from Wang, who is known as 'Lulu.' Kraft allegedly paid her with a $100 bill and another unidentified bill before leaving. 
Shen Migbi (pictured), a 58-year-old spa employee, may still face charges after allegedly being solicited by Robert Kraft, who could see the charges against him dropped
Shen Migbi (pictured), a 58-year-old spa employee, may still face charges after allegedly being solicited by Robert Kraft, who could see the charges against him dropped 
State deputy solicitor general Jeffrey DeSousa argued that police and prosecutors need the recording to convict the owners of felonies. The owners must be shown receiving payments from the prostitutes and the only way to get that is to install cameras, he said.
He said detectives had to fully record all massages, because the sex acts happened at their conclusion and 95 percent of male customers received one. While no female customers paid for sex, they were few in number and to not record them could be seen as discriminating against men, he said.
DeSousa said even if the court finds police violated innocent customers´ privacy rights, the Supreme Court has ruled that in most circumstances, only improperly seized evidence should be thrown out. Since Kraft, the other men and the masseuses were engaged in crimes, their recordings should be permitted, he said.
'Given the unique and difficult circumstances confronting these officers, the conspiracy, the logistics of the operation, what they reasonably anticipated they would see and the difficulty of knowing at the start of any given massage will this end with a happy ending or will it not, we think what law enforcement did here was entirely reasonable,' DeSousa said.
If convicted, Kraft would likely receive a fine, community service and other sanctions, but he could also be suspended or otherwise punished by the National Football League. 
Shen Mingbi (far right) pictured during an arraignment in the 2019 prostitution case
Shen Mingbi (far right) pictured during an arraignment in the 2019 prostitution case 
In 2012, it was revealed that Kraft was dating actress and model Ricki Noel Lander, 39. Lander did give birth to a child in 2017, and while there was speculation it was his, Kraft has denied being the father following the child's birth in 2018. It's not clear if the two are still dating
Robert Kraft's wife Myra (left) died from cancer in 2011 at 68
Robert Kraft's wife Myra (near right) died from cancer in 2011 at 68. In 2012, it was revealed that Kraft was dating actress and model Ricki Noel Lander (left), 39. Lander did give birth to a child in 2017, and while there was speculation it was his, Kraft has denied being the father following the child's birth in 2018. Their relationship has been described as 'off and on'
Robert Kraft (here with CBS' Jim Nantz and former Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork) was in Kansas City on January 20, 2019 to see his team upset the top-seeded Chiefs in the AFC title game. Florida police claim he visited a prostitute in Jupiter earlier that morning
Robert Kraft (here with CBS' Jim Nantz and former Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork) was in Kansas City on January 20, 2019 to see his team upset the top-seeded Chiefs in the AFC title game. Florida police claim he visited a prostitute in Jupiter earlier that morning
The NFL has insisted that Kraft will not get any special treatment as it addresses his sex solicitation case.
'Our Personal Conduct Policy applies equally to everyone in the NFL. We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under the Policy,' it said in a statement after Kraft was charged.
'We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring that we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts.'
New York Jets fans are pictured enjoying themselves outside the day spa where Kraft allegedly solicited prostitutes 
New York Jets fans are pictured enjoying themselves outside the day spa where Kraft allegedly solicited prostitutes 
Commissioner Roger Goodell could fine or suspend Kraft from any activities involving this year's Super Bowl champions, and there will likely be a league inquiry.
The NFL's personal conduct policy states that 'ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline.
'It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. We are all held to a higher standard and must conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible, promotes the values of the NFL, and is lawful,' it states. 
Kraft's wife Myra died from cancer in 2011 at age 68. The two were married in 1963 and had four children together.
In 2012, it was revealed that Kraft was dating actress and model Ricki Noel Lander, 39.
Lander did give birth to a child in 2017, and while there was speculation it was his, Kraft has denied being the father.
The two attended Super Bowl LIII together on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, but various reports have described the pair's relationship as 'off and on.'
Florida court rules that secret videos can't be used against Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 78, in prostitution case - and now all charges could be dropped due to lack of evidence Florida court rules that secret videos can't be used against Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 78, in prostitution case - and now all charges could be dropped due to lack of evidence Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:46 Rating: 5

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