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Spa Customers Videotaped in Kraft Case Sue Authorities

They say the surveillance was unlawful
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2019 2:02 AM CDT
The front entrance of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa is seen in Jupiter, Fla., on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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(Newser) – Nearly three dozen men and women have filed a federal class-action lawsuit accusing Florida authorities of unlawfully videotaping them as they received legal massages at a parlor where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others allegedly paid for sex. The lawsuit by 31 John and Jane Does alleges that Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, the Jupiter Police Department, and the case's lead detective violated their rights to privacy when they were videotaped in January receiving massages at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, the AP report. The lawsuit alleges that Jupiter police unlawfully obtained the warrants allowing them to install cameras.

None of the 31 has been charged with a crime, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages and to have the video recordings blocked from public release and ultimately destroyed. Police installed cameras in the spa's lobby and massage rooms after obtaining a warrant in mid-January. Kraft's attorneys and others have argued that installing the cameras violated state law. The law states that audio surveillance can only be used to investigate serious crimes such as murder and kidnapping—not prostitution—and that video surveillance would have an even higher threshold. Kraft was charged in late February and has pleaded not guilty, but has apologized for his actions. (Prosecutors plan to release the video.)

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