Palm Beach County prosecutors announced Thursday they were dropping charges of soliciting prostitution against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Those charges were announced in Feb. 2019 after an investigation into the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter. Kraft lives in Massachusetts but has a second residence in Palm Beach and is a frequent visitor to Mar-a-Lago.
Prosecutors hit a hurdle when the court disallowed video evidence obtained showing activity within the facility’s massage rooms. A police affidavit alleges Kraft can be seen in that video involved in a sex act with a masseuse.
The court ruled that video was obtained improperly and violated patrons’ right to privacy. Police had used a fake bomb threat to secretly install cameras within the facility in order to investigate allegations of prostitution.
The feed then ran continuously throughout the day, capturing the activity of those who visited the spa. Police say they only monitored those feeds when illegal activity was suspected.
That system was no good, according to the recent ruling, as it recorded several innocent customers. Without that video evidence, the case appears to have fallen apart, according to a new filing from Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg.
“Although there was probable cause to make an arrest, the evidence cannot prove all legally required elements of the crime alleged and is insufficient to support a criminal prosecution,” the filing reads.
Kraft allegedly visited the spa on two occasions. One incident in question took place the night before the Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in February to advance to Super Bowl LIII.
The spa was shut down following a months-long investigation.
Kraft was the most high-profile person charged in relation to activities at that spa. He has overseen the Patriots as they became one of the most successful teams in the National Football League. He also made millions running the Kraft Group, a holding company.