In Kraft prostitution case, key video evidence ruled inadmissible
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In Kraft prostitution case, key video evidence ruled inadmissible

Judge accepts defense argument the footage, reportedly showing sexual act between New England Patriots owner and spa employee, was obtained illegally

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, left, lifts the trophy beside son and team president Jonathan Kraft, right, after winning the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the Los Angeles Rams, February 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, left, lifts the trophy beside son and team president Jonathan Kraft, right, after winning the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the Los Angeles Rams, February 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

JTA — Robert Kraft won a major victory in his fight against charges that he solicited prostitution at a South Florida massage parlor.

On Monday, a Palm Beach County judge ruled that an explicit video of the New England Patriots owner from the massage parlor cannot be used in court.

Kraft was charged in February with two counts of soliciting prostitution. He pleaded not guilty.

As most of the state’s case was based on the spa video, Kraft’s legal team could file a motion to have the case dismissed, CBS Sports reported. The prosecution can appeal the ruling.

Robert Kraft being “hooded” at the Yeshiva University commencement in New York City, May 26, 2016. (Adena Stevens/Yeshiva University via JTA)

“We are reviewing the judge’s order at this point,” Michael Edmondson, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County prosecutor’s office, said in an email to The New York Times.

Kraft’s legal team had filed a motion last month to suppress the video, which CBS Sports reported is believed to show an employee performing a sexual act on Kraft. A sheriff in the case described the video as “explicit sexual and graphic,” according to CBS Sports.

Kraft was among some 100 men caught up in raids on massage parlors in Martin County, in his case the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, near where he keeps a home. Police officials say there is video evidence of all the men charged.

The defense claimed the footage was illegally obtained and violates Kraft’s constitutional rights.

Kraft was scheduled to appear in court for a May 21 pretrial hearing. It is unclear how Monday’s ruling will affect the hearing.

Over decades, the Kraft family has been a major giver to Jewish causes, among others.

In June, Kraft will receive the $1 million Genesis Prize, known as the Jewish Nobel, in Jerusalem. The annual award honors individuals who serve “as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft gives Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a signed football during a meeting with former players at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on June 22, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Kraft is the chairman and CEO of Kraft Group, a holding company with assets in sports, manufacturing and real estate development. The Patriots, winner of this year’s Super Bowl, are among the most successful franchises in professional sports.

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