Judge suppresses surveillance video in case related to Robert Kraft’s

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The judge presiding over the solicitation charges pending against Patriots owner Robert Kraft has yet to rule on a motion to suppress the surveillance video generated during his two visits to the Orchids of Asia day spa. A judge presiding over a related case has now ruled that these so-called “sneak-and-peek” videos cannot be used in court.

The surveillance occurred in facilities in Martin County and Palm Beach County. Kraft’s case is pending in Palm Beach County; in Martin County, Judge Kathleen Roberts has decided that the execution of the warrants authorizing surveillance invalidates the videos.

In the six-page ruling, Judge Roberts finds that no effort was made to avoid monitoring or recording innocent activity. “[T]he innocent client was treated the same by law enforcement as the criminal element they sought to capture,” Judge Roberts wrote.

Judge Roberts also concluded that no effort was made to end monitoring and recording once it was obvious that no illegal activity was occurring. “At the very least,” she wrote, “it would have required that when it was determined that no illegal activity was happening in the massage room, the monitoring or recording was turned off when the client began to dress after the massage was concluded. At no time was any effort made to stop the monitoring or recording at any point to protect the innocent person who happened to enter an area covered by a camera.”

So why would a failure to protect the innocent benefit the potentially guilty? Because, as Judge Roberts writes, video surveillance constitutes an “extraordinary method of searching for evidence of criminal activity,” requiring “high levels of responsibility” to be met in order “to avoid the intrusion on the activities of the innocent.”

When law enforcement fails to meet this standard, “[t]here is no other remedy but to suppress the evidence gathered.”

This ruling presumably will apply to all Martin County cases. The question for Kraft (and the rest of the Palm Beach County defendants) will be whether that same reasoning will be applied by judges in the neighboring jurisdiction. Ultimately, the question becomes whether the Florida appeals courts agree that the manner in which the search warrants were executed requires all videos generated by the searches to be kept out of court.

In Kraft’s case, the next hearing has been set for May 21. and Kraft reportedly is expected to attend. If the judge concludes that the video should be excluded, there quite possibly won’t be a May 21 hearing.

34 responses to “Judge suppresses surveillance video in case related to Robert Kraft’s

  1. This judges ruling makes no sense I have a feeling she is pandering to her rich county to get re-elected this will def get overturned by a higher court which has real judges who go by the law

  2. I don’t understand the need for this video. It isn’t just Kraft in it, there is a young woman involved too. Leave her alone. As far as anyone can tell it was two consenting adults engaged in this activity. None of our business if you ask me.

  3. I absolutely agree with not making the video public. No one outside of the case needs to see that. This is evidence in a criminal case, not reality television. However I truly don’t understand Why the video can’t be used as evidence. If you had surveillance video in a bank and a robbery occurred, based on this, since innocent people were banking, you couldn’t use that either. It makes no sense. I am not sure I fully understand. It sounds like Krafts connections or money got him off. This and the Jessie Smollett case make the whole country suspicious of our justice system. It is based on the idea that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. Are they really?

  4. redlikethepig says:
    May 2, 2019 at 10:47 am

    The wealthy always escape justice. The rest of us are not so lucky.

    ————————————————————————

    It’s more about the 30+ men and women who got legit massages but were taped anyway. Or the guy arrested by mistake because he had the same name as the guy LE was looking for. The #1 concern is the length LE went to for nothing charges. They sure were fast to go to the media and brag about what they did.

  5. ragnarthegreat says:
    May 2, 2019 at 11:30 am
    I absolutely agree with not making the video public. No one outside of the case needs to see that. This is evidence in a criminal case, not reality television. However I truly don’t understand Why the video can’t be used as evidence. If you had surveillance video in a bank and a robbery occurred, based on this, since innocent people were banking, you couldn’t use that either. It makes no sense. I am not sure I fully understand. It sounds like Krafts connections or money got him off. This and the Jessie Smollett case make the whole country suspicious of our justice system. It is based on the idea that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. Are they really?

    ————————-

    When you walk into a bank you are told you are being recorded. Big difference in your liberties.

  6. If it weren’t for that fact that Kraft is rich and a prominent figure, we wouldn’t even be having these hearings. Some very critical folks of the justice system that is providing a ruling that protects EVERYONE from the far reaching government. Sometimes it takes those that can afford to do it to get it done. You all should be thankful for the judge’s ruling and the fact that Krafts resources are protecting all of the other customers, especially those that did not engage in any potentially illegal activity.

  7. It must be nice to have access to the rich person judicial system in the U.S. I’m sure Kraft doesn’t care how much it will cost to fight this. He can afford it for as many hours as it takes.

  8. Every sane person who values PRIVACY should support this.

    The Prosecutor falsely stated the case was about “human trafficking” to push a narrative. Thank goodness Robert Kraft has the money and desire to push back and his success at protecting his rights will benefit everyone.

  9. cadreamer1969 says:
    May 2, 2019 at 11:43 am

    It’s more about the 30+ men and women who got legit massages but were taped anyway. Or the guy arrested by mistake because he had the same name as the guy LE was looking for. The #1 concern is the length LE went to for nothing charges. They sure were fast to go to the media and brag about what they did.

    ——————————————————

    By your logic, a surveillance tape of any kind can only be admissible if everyone on it is guilty of a crime. That’s absurd. Sadly, this is probably the decision that millions of dollars will buy too, and further muck up the justice system for the rest of the nation in order to defend pervy Kraft.

  10. The burden is on the police to makes sure they filter out those that are suspect from those that aren’t. When they get lazy, they should pay the price.

  11. shutupbrees says:
    May 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm
    cadreamer1969 says:
    May 2, 2019 at 11:43 am

    It’s more about the 30+ men and women who got legit massages but were taped anyway. Or the guy arrested by mistake because he had the same name as the guy LE was looking for. The #1 concern is the length LE went to for nothing charges. They sure were fast to go to the media and brag about what they did.

    ——————————————————

    By your logic, a surveillance tape of any kind can only be admissible if everyone on it is guilty of a crime. That’s absurd. Sadly, this is probably the decision that millions of dollars will buy too, and further muck up the justice system for the rest of the nation in order to defend pervy Kraft.

    ___________________

    No this is about the proper use of surveillance and the law enforcement agency following protocol. It’s about protecting the innocent. By your logic, screw the innocent and do whatever it takes to get the criminal. When protocol isn’t followed the guilty go free leaving the innocent suffering. It’s not about defending Kraft, it’s about protecting everyone else.

  12. I realize some posters hate Kraft and therefore hate his decision but all American citizens should rejoice, the police overstepped their boundaries in planting the cameras (where is there any evidence of child trafficing?) and the court both recognizes that and has taken steps to reign in the police.

    When you grant the police this sort of access without probable cause, every citizen is at risk for abuse. I could care less what happens to any of the customers of this spa, the police were wrong and the court backs that up.

  13. The investigators did not follow warrant protocol. So obviously the video cannot be used. And if you read the story, it is not just for Kraft but the entire investiagtion. Rich or poor. I am a huge supporter of police, but not when investigators overstep legalities to suit themselves.

  14. shutupbrees says:
    May 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    By your logic, a surveillance tape of any kind can only be admissible if everyone on it is guilty of a crime. That’s absurd. Sadly, this is probably the decision that millions of dollars will buy too, and further muck up the justice system for the rest of the nation in order to defend pervy Kraft.
    ———————
    Logic is something you clearly have only read about in books. The logic here is that an ordinary surveillance video doesn’t require a search warrant. More directly, and had you read anything but the headline and comments you would have seen this, the police basically lied to get the search warrant.

  15. Don’t DUI Checkpoints stop both the innocent and the guilty equally? How is this different?

  16. ragnarthegreat

    Not the same as a privately owned company using a surveillance camera. Police can’t just monitor everything without probably cause. A bank can record their properties without consent as its their property. Now if the spa had their own recording system, no doubt they could issue a warrant to use their footage in court…but this isn’t the case.

  17. redlikethepig says:
    May 2, 2019 at 10:47 am
    The wealthy always escape justice. The rest of us are not so lucky.
    =====================
    You realize it wasn’t even Kraft’s lawyer that won that decision, right?

  18. shutupbrees says:
    May 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm
    cadreamer1969 says:
    May 2, 2019 at 11:43 am

    It’s more about the 30+ men and women who got legit massages but were taped anyway. Or the guy arrested by mistake because he had the same name as the guy LE was looking for. The #1 concern is the length LE went to for nothing charges. They sure were fast to go to the media and brag about what they did.

    ——————————————————

    By your logic, a surveillance tape of any kind can only be admissible if everyone on it is guilty of a crime. That’s absurd. Sadly, this is probably the decision that millions of dollars will buy too, and further muck up the justice system for the rest of the nation in order to defend pervy Kraft.
    =========================
    And to be completely fair, by your logic, there’s absolutely no meaning of invasion of privacy under the very scenario you played out.

  19. “When you walk into a bank you are told you are being recorded. Big difference in your liberties.”

    I see your point except I am not sure it is true. No one ever told me in a bank or convenience store etc. that I was being video’ed. How about traffic intersections, store parking lots, at gas pumps and outdoor garden centers. Whether anyone knows it or not you can barely leave your house without being on video unless you live out in the country. And you don’t get a notification every time one of these cameras goes in, but you’re being taped more than you could ever imagine. So again it’s hard to rationalize which taping of innocent people is OK and which taping of innocent people is not. Countless crimes are solved by video from nearby locations getting pictures of the perpetrators. The Boston marathon bombing will solve that way. So again I’m confused by this argument. I’m glad that it’s clear to you, it doesn’t satisfy my questions

  20. redlikethepig says:
    May 2, 2019 at 10:47 am
    The wealthy always escape justice. The rest of us are not so lucky.

    —————–

    Would you let that go please? The ruling applies to a different county and you don’t know anything about the financial status of the defendants in this case.

  21. billslakerscuse says:
    May 2, 2019 at 11:07 am
    This judges ruling makes no sense I have a feeling she is pandering to her rich county to get re-elected this will def get overturned by a higher court which has real judges who go by the law

    —————

    we are talking about misdemeanors where the court already has been offering pleas. I don’t think any higher court should be wasting their time. It certainly has nothing to do with pandering to rich people. I don’t think anyone wants Police to be getting warrants to record and analyze video in private locations where people could be undressing in hopes of finding illegal activity to prosecute.

  22. Judging by the ‘thumbs up’ and thumbs down’ for the various comments, the thin-skinned Patriots’ Nation is out in full force today…as they always are when scandals hit their football team. You keep thinking that their own decency would kick in – i.e. if he has done nothing wrong as he has suggested, the video will vindicate him’. But of course the video likely shows something else, hence the desperate legal efforts to stop it being played. And the argument from Patriots’ fans that it shouldn’t be shown.

  23. redlikethepig says:
    May 2, 2019 at 10:47 am
    The wealthy always escape justice. The rest of us are not so lucky.

    In this case, it’s the wealthy laying the legal groundwork for the rest of us to not get extorted. This is why authorities pick on people without the means to fight back. They thought they could embarrass Kraft into submission. Good for him for fighting back.

  24. It is truly disturbing that after reading about the clear & obvious violation of people’s rights(not to mention sloppy police work) the most intelligent take half of the people who post here can come up with is: “Rich people get away with everything” or “using your logic you can’t prosecute a Bank Robber because of all the innocent people being videotaped”(that one is my personal favorite!).

    Are you guys really that devoid of logic or do you truly lack the ability to understand the nuances of any situation? At least beyond a lazy, 5th grade child’s moralization? I’m actually asking, because this is depressing…. the silver lining is the comments posted by those that read and understood the situation seemed to get a much better reception than the simpletons who posted the whiny, envious nonsense about money…as if that is all that matters. Yes, money certainly helps one get out of legal trouble, nobody disputes that. Does someone being rich mean they are not allowed to use THEIR money to spend on legal counsel?

  25. guinsrule says:
    May 2, 2019 at 1:20 pm
    Don’t DUI Checkpoints stop both the innocent and the guilty equally? How is this different?
    _________________________________________________

    Seriously? You don’t see the difference? For starters, a driver is aware that they are going through a checkpoint. None of the visitors to this spa knew they were being watched and video taped while undressed. You have a right to expect a certain amount of privacy, this completely ignores that right.

  26. guinsrule says:
    May 2, 2019 at 1:20 pm
    Don’t DUI Checkpoints stop both the innocent and the guilty equally? How is this different?
    ————————-
    Well for one thing, not every vehicle gets stopped. For another, there is a difference between briefly stopping someone in public and concocting a story to secretly place a surveillance video in a private area.

  27. So where’s judge Berman when you need him for the fix?……hmmm maybe check the Hamptons? I heard he got lost out there after his last decision was overturned by reality…..what a joke.

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