Florida prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor charge against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Thursday after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for massage parlor sex. Court records show that the owner and manager of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa are still facing numerous felony charges related to allegedly running a house of prostitution, the AP reports. The Florida 4th District Court of Appeal found last month that Jupiter police violated the rights of Kraft and the other customers when they secretly installed video cameras inside massage rooms at the spa for an investigation in early 2019. The court then blocked use of the video footage at trial. Kraft had pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology last year for his actions.
The recordings are the only known evidence that the men paid for sex. Prosecutors decided this week not to appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court, saying a loss there could have implications for law enforcement beyond the Kraft case. Kraft's attorneys have filed a motion asking that the recordings be destroyed so they could never be made public, saying Kraft might be willing to pay the state's costs if a destruction order is challenged. Kraft, 79, could still face punishment from the National Football League. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them. If convicted, Kraft would have likely received a fine, community service, and other sanctions that did not include jail time.
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