Temporary protective order issued to stop release of Robert Kraft spa video

Yahoo Sports

Robert Kraft and his lawyers aren’t done fighting the release of surveillance videos from the New England Patriots owner’s trip to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

On Wednesday morning, prosecutors in Florida said they would make the tapes public. But Kraft wasn’t done with his legal battle. On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Joseph Marx issued a temporary protective order stopping the release of the video evidence, according to multiple reports including ESPN.com and ABC News.

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The case itself, in which Kraft was charged with two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution for two trips to the spa in Florida in which he allegedly paid for sex, has had plenty of attention. But whether the public will ever get to see the video evidence from inside the spa has dominated the coverage lately.

Reports said Marx scheduled a hearing for April 29 to rule on the video evidence.

A battle over the release of video evidence

Media outlets have requested the videos be released, citing Florida’s public records laws.

Lei Wang, the alleged manager of Orchids of Asia, had also requested the release of the videos be barred while her criminal case is proceeding. But on Wednesday, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office said it could not wait for a May 17 hearing to release the videos, citing state law.

“As the custodian of the records, [prosecutors] cannot delay the release of records to allow a person to raise a constitutional challenge to the release of the documents,” the office wrote. “The Public Records Act does not allow a custodian to delay the production of records to allow the resolution of a constitutional challenge to the release of the documents.”

That led to what ABC News said was an emergency hearing on a conference call between Marx and the two parties. He issued the temporary protective order.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, seen here during a Nets-Heat game on April 10, is fighting the release of video evidence in a case against him. (AP)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, seen here during a Nets-Heat game on April 10, is fighting the release of video evidence in a case against him. (AP)

Robert Kraft’s lawyer: No reason for video to be released

Kraft has pleaded not guilty to the charges and requested a jury trial.

ABC News said Kraft’s attorneys could argue that a search warrant that allowed investigators to set up hidden cameras was improperly obtained.

"Nevetheless," Kraft's attorneys wrote, according to ABC News, "the State is hell-bent on disclosing the Videos to the public even before a determination of their legality."

Kraft’s lawyer William Burck said last week there is no reason for the release of the evidence other than “prurient interest in seeing the video.”

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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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