Hey, do any of you remember that story from last year about the owner of the New England Patriots allegedly being caught with some prostitutes at a spa in Florida? I know it probably seems like a million years ago now, back in the good old days before the plague arrived and everything went to absolute crap. Back then the economy was roaring, unemployment was at historic lows and we could have fun with the occasional story like the saga that Robert Kraft found himself embroiled in. Well, strap in, nostalgia fans, because Bob is back in the news and our long national nightmare may finally be at an end.
This story actually started heating back up a couple of weeks ago and then came to a head (sorry) last week while I was out on vacation celebrating my birthday. (It was great. Thanks for asking.) In a final bid for total exoneration, Kraft’s attorneys had asked to have all of the video evidence collected against him at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida destroyed, along with much of the rest of the evidence police collected by stopping cars in the vicinity. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the court agreed and the evidence was deemed inadmissible. After that, the prosecutors appeared to throw in the towel and call it a day. Last week, the charges were dropped. (NBC News)
Florida prosecutors are dropping charges of soliciting prostitution against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, according to court papers filed Thursday.
Kraft was accused of paying for sex acts at the Orchids of Asia Day spa in Jupiter, Fla., on consecutive days in January 2019. Kraft pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology for his actions.
Palm Beach County prosecutors lost a key court decision this week that led to the court tossing video and audio surveillance of Kraft allegedly soliciting a woman at the Orchids of Asia Day spa.
In a statement issued last Thursday, Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg admitted that he now lacked all of the evidence required to prove his case and move forward. He also lamented the “economic inequalities in the justice system that allow wealthy defendants to hire top-class investigators and lawyers to poke holes in criminal cases.” That’s probably more of a reality that some of us would like to admit, but it certainly played out in Bob Kraft’s favor here. Numerous other men caught up in the same sweep simply pleaded guilty to low-level offenses, paid a fine, and went on their way. Kraft’s legal team has now essentially blown all of those cases out of the water as well.
As I’ve said from the beginning (more than a year and a half ago now), beating Bob Kraft seemed to be some sort of holy grail for the Palm Beach prosecutors. They were enraged when Kraft, a wealthy and famous snowbird invading their home state, refused to simply cop a plea, pay his fine and slink out of town in shame. It became something of a vendetta for them to find a way to bring him down.
At one point, the prosecutors were threatening to combine several misdemeanor charges together into a low-level felony charge that could send Kraft to prison for as much as three years. That seemed like little more than an intimidation tactic to see if Kraft’s legal team would fold. They didn’t and the plan was quickly abandoned.
So, did Bob Kraft do what the police alleged in the beginning? There seems little doubt about it. But the cops mishandled the case badly from the way they obtained a warrant for video surveillance to their interrogation methods employed with motorists in the vicinity that they probably doomed the case themselves before it ever reached a judge. Kraft could afford the big legal guns to challenge them each step of the way and convince the courts to rule in his favor. And now, nearly two years and tens of millions of dollars in legal and court fees later, he’s managed to avoid… having to pay a $1,500 fine on a misdemeanor charge. God bless America, eh? What a country.