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Prosecutors drop charge against Patriots owner Robert Kraft in solicitation case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor charge against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Thursday after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for massage parlor sex.

Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg will explain the decision during an online press conference later Thursday.

Palm Beach County court records show that the owner and manager of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa are still facing numerous felony charges related to running a house of prostitution.

The Florida 4th District Court of Appeal found last month that Jupiter police violated the rights of Kraft and the other customers when they secretly installed video cameras inside massage rooms at the spa in early 2019. The court then blocked use of the video footage at trial.

The recordings, which have not been made public, are the only known evidence the men paid for sex. It could not be immediately determined if the charges against the other men have also been dropped, but that is likely.

Prosecutors decided this week not to appeal that decision to the Florida Supreme Court, saying a loss there could have “broader, negative implications” on future law enforcement investigations beyond the Kraft case.

Kraft’s attorneys have already filed a motion asking that the recordings be destroyed so they could never be released to the public. They said Kraft might be willing to pay the state’s costs if anyone challenges a destruction order.

Kraft, 79, could still face suspension or other punishment from the National Football League.

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