The pretrial hearing to determine if hidden video footage of female employees at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa allegedly performing sex acts on Robert Kraft would be suppressed wrapped up on Wednesday afternoon in Florida.
No ruling is expected to come on that motion until the next court date on May 21, at which time Kraft has been informed he must appear in court.
In what could be a sign of things to come though, a judge ruled on Wednesday that hidden video that was shot of patrons at two spas in neighboring Martin County would not be permissible in court.
‘Because of its highly intrusive nature, the requirements to curtail what can be captured must be scrutinized and high levels of responsibility must be met to avoid the intrusion on the activities of the innocent,’ wrote the judge in that ruling.
‘These strict standards simply weren’t met in this case.’
Patriot act: A pretrial hearing to determine if hidden video footage of Robert Kraft allegedly having sex acts performed on him by spa workers would be suppressed is over
Decisions: The judge will reveal his ruling on May 21 at a court hearing that Robert Kraft has been ordered to attend
There were also some new details shared at Kraft’s pretrial hearing which were a bit unsettling.
This included the fact that spa workers did not change the sheets on the massage tables between clients.
There was also talk of the various ways men were seen being manually stimulated by spa employees.
The hearing kicked off on Friday with the revelation that one of the men who was questioned after he allegedly paid to have a manual sex act performed on him by one of the business’ female employees informed law enforcement that there was an ‘early bird special’ for clients who scheduled appointments before noon.
Meanwhile, the detective who was behind the operation said that his suspicions that the spa was in fact a ‘house of prostitution’ were confirmed after he witnessed a golf cart with eight men squeezed in pull up to Orchids of Asia one afternoon in November.
The men all piled out and into the spa, with the first to exit doing a ‘Touchdown Jesus’ and praising the heavens upon completion of his treatment.
These revelations all came courtesy of Detective Andrew Sharp, who was in the hot seat on Friday as attorneys for Robert Kraft called on the man behind the Orchids of Asia sting to testify in a pre-trial hearing.
Over the course of six hours Detective Sharp answered questions about his initial stakeout of the massage parlor, when and why he decided to obtain a search warrant and his encounter with the ‘polite and respectful’ Patriots owner.
Kraft’s defense team is hoping that this pre-trial hearing, which will continue on Tuesday, will be enough to convince the judge to toss out the hidden camera footage that was obtained after Detective Sharp and members of the Jupiter Police Department installed five cameras in the facility.
If they are successful, it is very likely that all charges against their client will be dropped and the prosecution will not proceed to trial.
Detective Sharp said that during the course of his surveillance it was men he saw going into the spa, and noted that almost every single customer was inside for 30 to 45 minutes.
He also said that a number of online reviews had referred to Orchids of Asia as a ‘rub-and-tug.’
It was that golf cart stacked full of men however that he believed gave him enough evidence to move forward and attempt to obtain a search warrant.
There was one evening in question, where a group of approximately eight males got off of a golf cart, walked into the establishment, came back outside, did sort of a – and I’ll use the analogy here – “Touchdown Jesus” with his hands, and walked back inside,’ explained Detective Sharp.
‘So at that point, I understood that this was not just a regular massage parlor, but one that was an illicit massage business.’
Throw my hands up: Detective Sharp (above on the stand) testified earlier in the hearing that he suspected the spa was an ‘illicit business’ after a golf cart of eight men went in and the first emerged doing a ‘Touchdown Jesus’
He then defended his decision to request that warrant.
‘It’s a felony offense that I was advised that I had probable cause to believe that deriving support from proceeds of prostitution was occurring inside and the only way for me to gather said evidence would be to get a “sneak-and-peek” warrant,’ stated Detective Sharp.
Kraft’s masseuse Shen Mingbi (above) in her booking photo last week
The defense is attempting to establish that the videos were obtained as a result of an unlawful search.
That argument has been somewhat bolstered by law enforcement, who early on declared that this low-level prostitution ring was in fact part of a much larger human trafficking ring.
Officials were later forced to walk back on this claim when the investigation into Orchids of Asia yielded no concrete evidence of human trafficking.
Kraft’s lawyers are also arguing that police did not even attempt to investigate their suspicions in a less invasive way, pointing out they never once spoke to any employees inside the spa.
And that search warrant, the defense argues, was only obtained because lawyers misled the judge who approved the request.
The pre-trial hearing will continue on Tuesday morning.