Last week we looked at the efforts by New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft’s attorneys to suppress the release of a video allegedly showing him “engaged” with a prostitute and giving her cash. While Kraft’s legal team seemed to be making some solid arguments about why giving the video to the press could poison his case, Florida’s “sunshine law” seemed to make it clear that the video would have to be made public unless the state legislature ruled otherwise. A judge put the matter on hold until he could rule on the matter.

Turns out that Team Kraft has some pretty sharp legal experts on the payroll. Despite what the sunshine law appears to dictate, prosecutors have been told to keep the happy ending film under wraps for now, and possibly until the trial is done. (Boston Globe)

A Florida judge has ordered that a video police say shows New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for sex not be publicly released for now.

Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser accepted arguments by Kraft’s attorneys that releasing the video could harm chances for a fair trial on misdemeanor prostitution charges, and ruled Tuesday that it shouldn’t be handed to the media as a public record until a jury is seated, a plea agreement is reached or the state drops the case…

Also on Tuesday, a circuit court judge ruled that attorneys for Orchids of Asia owner Hua Zhang and therapist Lei Wang can subpoena TheBlast.com in an effort to determine who tried to sell it a video of Kraft paying for sex at the massage parlor.

Not all of the credit (?) here goes to Kraft’s attorneys. This case is turning into a mess on a number of levels. (More on that in a moment.) But the point being made by Kraft is that putting the video out in public prior to the trial would poison the jury pool and leave him unable to receive a fair trial. Depending on what exactly was captured on camera and the context of the encounter, that’s probably true. But what does this mean for the future of Florida’s sunshine law? If a judge can order an exception in one case, anyone who might be damaged by having any records made public can request the same treatment.

Getting back to the problems the prosecutors now have, this entire case is turning into a dumpster fire. It seems that the original warrant allowing cameras to be installed at the spa is being challenged on multiple fronts. First of all, the reason given was the suspicion of human trafficking. Apparently, there was no trafficking discovered, calling the basis for the original warrant into question. (That’s another line of attack Kraft’s lawyers have been taking as well.)

On top of that, the video allegedly captured more than a dozen other people who were naked and getting a legitimate massage (not a happy ending) and seventeen of them have filed suit to have the videos locked down and eventually destroyed. They are also suing for unspecified damages and it sounds like they have a strong case.

So this video is under attack from all angles. And if the warrant for the cameras is found to be flawed, prosecutors will lose their most powerful piece of evidence. In that case, it will be the prosecutors who are left holding the bag and Kraft could still wind up walking away from this scot-free. Or, at most, the trafficking charges seem to be off the table and the only thing they could tag him with is solicitation, and they probably wouldn’t have any witnesses to testify to that.