Judge Temporarily Blocks Release of Robert Kraft Massage Parlor Video
Just hours after Florida prosecutors announced they intended to release footage of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly receiving sexual favors at a massage parlor, the judge overseeing the case temporarily blocked them from doing so.
On Wednesday, Palm Beach County prosecutors announced they were planning to go forward with the public release of footage of Kraft allegedly paying for sex at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, which was identified as part of an alleged prostitution network. Kraft’s attorneys had requested the video be blocked from release — Martin County Sheriff William Snyder previously described it as “explicit” and “graphic” — while the cases of two women who are accused of owning and managing the spa are underway.
According to ABC News, the office of Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said public records requests in those cases compelled them to prepare the video’s release, which they would “pixelate or blur depictions of obscene or pornographic images before releasing such records to the public, absent a court order.”
Aronberg did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In court documents obtained by The Boston Globe on Wednesday, Aronberg’s office said, “as the custodian of the records, [the State’s Attorney’s office] cannot delay the release of records to allow a person to raise a constitutional challenge to the release of the documents.”
“The Public Records Act does not allow a custodian to delay the production of records to allow the resolution of a constitutional challenge to the release of the documents,” the State’s Attorney’s office continued.
Kraft’s attorneys, who did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, then filed a letter to the judge citing “an extraordinary and alarming development involving what appears to be gross prosecutorial misconduct,” ABC reported.
In an emergency hearing, Florida Circuit Court Judge Joseph Marx temporarily blocked Aronberg’s office from releasing the footage.
“I don’t want this released until I’ve ruled,” Marx said in a conference call with the two parties and members of the media, according to ABC.
Kraft’s next hearing is now scheduled for April 29.
In a notice to appear in court previously obtained by PEOPLE, authorities alleged they had video of spa employees performing sex acts on Kraft on at least two occasions in January, including the morning of the AFC Championship game in Kansas City, when the Patriots earned a trip to the Super Bowl.
Kraft, who has won six Super Bowls in two decades as the owner of the Patriots, publically responded to the accusations for the first time last month.
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“I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard,” Kraft, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, wrote in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being.”
“I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years,” Kraft wrote, referencing his late wife Myra, who died of cancer at age 68 in 2011.
Concluding his statement, Kraft wrote: “As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through these actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect.”