WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) — Lawyers for two of the women charged in a Florida prostitution sting plan to ask a judge Tuesday to hold police and prosecutors responsible for the possible unauthorized release of a video that they say shows New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for sex.
Attorneys for Orchids of Asia Day Spa owner Hua Zhang and manager Lei Wang are planning to ask a judge to hold Jupiter police and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office responsible.
Last week, however, Jupiter police spokesman O’Neil Anderson told The Associated Press that he doubts the authenticity of the reports that someone is shopping around a leaked video showing Kraft naked with another person, presumably a massage therapist at the Jupiter spa.
A previously filed motion says the video is exclusively in the possession of the Jupiter Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office.
Anderson said his department has taken every precaution to secure the evidence, and he doesn’t believe anyone in the police department or State Attorney’s Office would leak the video. Anderson also pointed out that no websites or news organizations have actually shown a video.
“If anyone had it, they would have released it by now,” Anderson said last week.
Zhang and Wang’s attorneys are citing a New York Daily News story that reports an unknown person had contacted TheBlast.com with footage of Kraft inside the spa.
Attorneys for Kraft argued that releasing the footage would violate their clients’ rights to privacy and a fair trial.
Tuesday morning, Judge Leonard Hanser agreed and temporarily sealed the disputed video tape on fair trial rights.
The judge said it can be released once a jury is sworn, the case is resolved via plea agreement or the State drops charges.
However, Judge Hanser also says that he may reconsider after a suppression hearing on Friday.
The billionaire NFL owner was charged in February with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution after being accused of paying for sex. He has pleaded not guilty.
Several media outlets, including CBS4 News, have argued that the video should be made public.
If the video is released, it wouldn’t be in the case against Kraft, but in the case against Wang and Zhang.
Wang and Zhang have pleaded not guilty to charges that include maintaining a house of prostitution.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)