There hasn’t been much action in the Robert Kraft massage parlor hooker trial since the last time we talked about it. A judge has suppressed all of the video footage recorded inside the day spa, effectively gutting the prosecution’s case. The only significant item of note since then is that the state has opted to appeal the ruling. If they can have the judge’s decision overturned they might be back on track to prosecute Kraft. Legal analysts commenting on the case don’t seem to think their chances are good, however.

But while we wait for the appeals to play out, it’s worth asking how this prosecutorial effort went into the tank so quickly. I wanted to point everyone to a great, in-depth analysis from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on this subject. They spoke with experienced jurists, prosecutors, and defense attorneys to pick the question apart. As it turns out, it’s believed that the detectives working the case made at least three major errors while investigating, and this wasn’t the first time they had played fast and loose with the rules.

In originally seeking the warrant, they do appear to have had reasonable cause to believe that there might have been human trafficking taking place. (There wasn’t, but it was apparently a believable suspicion.) The judge even agreed with them on that score. But they erred in how they obtained the warrant and installed the cameras in the massage parlor. Rather than restricting how much activity was being recorded, they wound up collecting video of numerous people who were undressed and receiving legal, legitimate massages with no “extras” being paid for. That brought up privacy concerns leading to the evidence being suppressed.

What’s more, they had done this before, using the same methods in other massage parlors. But in the past, the people soliciting prostitution simply paid their fines, did some community service and made the problem go away. They didn’t challenge any of this in court. When these folks came up against Robert Kraft, that all changed.

The judge also agreed with prosecutors that the police weren’t obligated to use other common tactics for the prostitution sweeps, such as using undercover officers.

But Hanser concluded the warrant still broke federal law, because police didn’t do enough to focus only on crimes and to minimize the cameras’ intrusiveness. At all of the spas with the secret cameras, police wound up recording people receiving lawful services, even though the focus was supposed to be only on men paying for sex acts.

Failing to be vigilant and not record women “is a serious flaw in the search warrant, especially considering that the search warrant did not allege women were seeking illegal contact,” Hanser wrote. He called it “unacceptable” that “some totally innocent women and men had their entire lawful time spent in a massage room fully recorded.”

All massage-parlor customers have a reasonable expectation of privacy under the U.S. Constitution, regardless of whether or not they went there for a lawful massage, the judge found.

So the warrant was found to be flawed and the camera placement was deemed too intrusive. But they then messed up a third time. During the five days that the cameras were in operation, they were pulling over everyone leaving the spa and examining their identification, supposedly on the pretense of a traffic stop, but in most cases, there had been no traffic violation and no tickets were issued.

In reality, the cops were doing it so they could match up the names and addresses of the people with the video being recorded inside. But the judge ruled that there needed to be a traffic violation in order for the stop and subsequent collection of ID to be valid. So now, all of that information has been suppressed as well. So the state is thus far batting zero for three in terms of the primary pillars of their case. It’s true that the appeals court could reverse the decision, but at least for now, Team Kraft is coming out on top. And Bob Kraft may yet manage to avoid paying that $250 fine and some community service, all for the paltry price of a few million dollars in legal fees.