Officials in Florida are expected to drop the solicitation charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft after an appeals court ruled that video evidence captured by secret cameras was not admissible in court. The ruling came last month, but Florida Solicitor General Amit Agarwal decided not to appeal the ruling to Florida's Supreme Court. Officials were wary of the implications on future cases if the Supreme Court ruled against them.
"We were disappointed by the Fourth District's decision," Kylie Mason, the press secretary for Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, told CNN. "These attorneys determined that review was unlikely and raised concerns that a decision by the Florida Supreme Court against the State on these case facts could have broader, negative implications beyond the limited facts of this case, which could affect law enforcement efforts in the future."
Kraft was one of more than a dozen men allegedly caught on secret cameras engaging in sex acts while getting massages at Orchids of Asia day spa in Florida. Kraft argued that the secret recordings violated his Fourth Amendment rights and Florida law and asked for them to be expunged and destroyed.
"The type of law enforcement surveillance utilized in these cases is extreme," the appellate court ruling said. "While there will be situations which may warrant the use of the techniques at issue, the strict Fourth Amendment safeguards developed over the past few decades must be observed. If they are not, any evidence obtained could very well be declared inadmissible as a matter of constitutional law."
Without the video footage, the prosecutors lack the evidence to move forward with the charges against Kraft.
Officials could still move forward with charges against the owners of the day spa as they have financial records and other evidence that can be used in court.
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