Judge: Public can’t see Kraft videos yet

Field Level Media

April 23, 2019 at 6:55 pm.

Two videos that allegedly show New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft participating in illegal acts at Florida massage parlor will not be released to the public yet.

Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser agreed with a request made by Kraft’s defense team to keep the videos sealed, at least for now. In his decision Tuesday, he wrote “making these images public, at this time, seriously jeopardizes Defendant’s fundamental right to a fair and impartial jury.”

He continued:

“Furthermore, the Court is seriously concerned about allowing the media to disclose to the public a piece of evidence that would be (or could be) central to the case against defendant,” Hanser wrote. “In effect, the potential jury pool would be given the opportunity to preview trial evidence, including identifying (Kraft) as the person depicted in the video tapes.”

Florida’s open-records law typically allows the release of evidence, and prosecutors last week said they intended to make recordings of Kraft public.

Hanser, however, said he won’t allow the video to be released until the jury is sworn in or the case is otherwise resolved.

Several media companies had asked the judge to release the footage, citing Florida law.

Kraft’s lawyers also are seeking to have the videos thrown out, contending his rights were violated when authorities recorded what happened inside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla.

Kraft was one of 24 men charged with soliciting prostitution at the spa. Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two counts of soliciting, which allegedly occurred in January.