What I’m Hearing: TCPalm reporter Will Greenlee has the latest on whether or not New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft could dodge the solicitation charges currently facing him.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Attorneys for Robert Kraft and more than a dozen other defendants facing charges in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa sex-for-pay case Wednesday filed court paperwork asking that evidence, including videos of sex acts, not be publicly released.
Kraft, 77, owner of the New England Patriots, was accused twice in January of visiting the spa in Jupiter, Florida and receiving sex acts, records show. He faces two misdemeanor prostitution-related charges.
His arrest was part of what law enforcement authorities called a human trafficking crackdown that closed several day spas and resulted in dozens of arrests.
According to records, covert video surveillance equipment recorded footage of Kraft and others.
A “joint motion for a protective order” in one of the men’s cases included Kraft and others.
The filing states that the video recordings and other evidence have not been produced in the court process of “discovery.”
That’s the procedure by which defense attorneys compel prosecutors to turn over all evidence they plan to use in the case. Once the material is turned over to defense lawyers, it also becomes public record.
Scott Skier, attorney for Joseph Daniels, said he decided to join the filing in the interest of his client.
“I thought it was an appropriate pleading under the circumstances to take a preventative stance on any release of videos that have an evidentiary basis that could be used against Joe,” Skier said. “It really is a prophylactic measure.”
Kraft’s attorney, Jack Goldberger, did not respond Wednesday to phone messages or email.
The filing also notes the materials are exempt from public disclosure because they are “active criminal intelligence information.”
The filing further states that while defense attorneys don’t agree there is a “victim” in the case, they note the “mere possibility provides an additional basis for maintaining the confidentiality of the materials.”
ONE MONTH LATER: Catch up on what’s happened in sex spa case
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A circuit judge on March 14 dismissed a lawsuit filed in Martin County last month by a Stuart law firm seeking to block the release of video recordings.
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Days after the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and Jupiter Police Department announced the arrests of several women accused of managing five spas involved in soliciting sex, Stuart attorney Richard Kibbey filed emergency petitions with the circuit courts in Martin and Palm Beach counties, asking judges to stop the agencies from releasing any video recordings and customer lists known to investigators.
Kibbey represents at least a dozen clients of day spas in Martin and Palm Beach counties targeted in the months-long investigation.
Martin Circuit Judge Steve Levin sided with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and granted a motion to dismiss the complaint, in large part because an order to seal evidence in the day spa investigation already existed.
But last week, when that motion to seal was dissolved by a Martin County judge, Kibbey filed papers related to his lawsuit asking the court to reconsider the dismissal ruling. Kibbey’s other lawsuit in Palm Beach County is pending.