Judge temporarily blocks release of massage parlor videos of Patriots owner Robert Kraft
Florida prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday that they plan to release police-obtained videos that allegedly show New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft receiving sexual services for pay at a massage parlor on two occasions in January.div > div.group > p:first-child">
That stated intention ignited a flurry of court motions by Kraft and others seeking to block any release of the videos depicting him and other men visiting the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.
And Kraft's lawyers suggested that the Palm Beach County State's Attorney's office was engaging in "gross prosecutorial misconduct" by moving to release the videos despite having told a judge last week that they would hold off on doing so.
Palm Beach prosecutors — who have charged the 77-year-old billionaire with two counts of soliciting prostitution — said in their new filing Wednesday said they must release the videos of him and the other men to the media and public without unnecessary delay because of Florida's open-records laws.
"Absent a Court order, the State will be releasing the requested public records once it has retrieved and reviewed the records," prosecutos said in their filing Wednesday.
Kraft's lawyers weeks ago asked a judge to bar the release of the video of the Patriots owner, which they have described as "pornography" and the fruits of an illegal search warrant that allowed cops to secretly place surveillance cameras in the spa.
But prosecutors in their filing Wednesday that they cannot wait for a judge's ruling about the release of the videos in connection with a related criminal case against Lei Wang, the alleged manager of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
"The State, as custodian of the records, cannot delay the release of the records to allow a person to raise a constituional challenge to the release of the documents," prosecutors wrote.
Kraft's lawyers filed an emergency motion Wednesday to intervene in Wang's case so they can "oppose the State's intended disclosure" the videos, according to documents obtained by CNBC.
In a letter to a judge, Kraft's lawyer William Burck called the stated intention to release the videos "an extraordinary and alarming development involving what appears to be gross prosecutorial misconduct."
Burck noted that prosecutors last week had said at a court hearing they would not release the videos of Kraft "because Mr. Burck and other attorneys have filed motions for protection."
" 'We're waiting for those to be heard and ruled on,' " the prosecutor told a judge last week, according to Burck's letter. " " 'That's why, obviously, we're not releasing the videos at this point,' " the prosecutor added, the letter noted.
Another emergency motion was filed Wednesday by a man who claims he obtained a lawful massage at the spa, and who asked a judge to bar prosecutors from releasing a video that showed him receiving that treatment.
Lawyers for Wang herself filed a new motion requesting the videos be kept from the public for now.
Spokesmen for Kraft and for the prosecutor's office had no immediate comment when contacted by CNBC.
Kraft's Patriots won the Super Bowl in February.