Prosecutors are dropping prostitution fees towards New England Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft greater than a yr after the scandal broke out
Owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft walks on the field before the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 17, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Chris Graythen | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images
Florida prosecutors on Thursday dropped prostitution charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft after being banned from using police surveillance videos that could prove their case.
The move was anticipated after the Florida Attorney General's Office announced on Monday that it would not ask the state Supreme Court to overturn a block on the appellate court's decision as evidence videos show Kraft made two visits to Orchids of Asia Day Sexually Served Spa in Jupiter for Money, Fla., In early 2019.
The videos, which were never released, were the most powerful and possibly only real evidence against the 79-year-old billionaire who pleaded not guilty in the case.
"Without these videos, we can't move our law enforcement forward," Palm Beach County Attorney Dave Aronberg said at a news conference.
Aronberg said he was "disappointed" with the appeal court's decision.
However, the chief prosecutor also called the Orchids of Asia Day Spa "an infamous brothel" and defended the local police's decision to open an investigation that led to the prosecution of Kraft and two dozen other men. These other men were also charged with the appeals court ruling.
"It is not a lack of will that led us to drop the fees in the spa cases," said Aronberg.
"But our hands were tied" by the attorney general's decision not to appeal the verdict, he added. However, Aronberg said he understood this decision.
Aronberg's office filed two notices in court on Thursday about Nolle Prosequi, meaning they will not be prosecuted in the case in which NFL owner Kraft was charged on two charges of prostitution, a misdemeanor.
The scene outside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, FL, where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly sought prostitution, is pictured on February 22, 2019.
Barry Chin | Boston Globe | Getty Images
"Although there was likely a reason for arrest, the evidence cannot prove all of the legally required elements of the alleged crime and is not sufficient to support a criminal prosecution," the prosecution records said.
Kraft's second visit to the massage parlor in January 2019 came the day after his first recorded trip and hours before he saw his Patriots defeat the Chiefs in Kansas City, Missouri, in the AFC Championship Game en route to their sixth Super Bowl title.
The criminal case against him had been on thin ice for more than a year after a judge from the court agreed with the Kraft legal team's arguments that the videos should be banned as evidence because he and other customers expected the The massage parlor had privacy.
Kraft is CEO of the Kraft Group, a privately held diversified holding company.
He tries to have the videos of him destroyed at the spa.