August 19, 2019
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Inspector in Robert Kraft case says she saw evidence of trafficking

Steven Senne | AP
Steven Senne | AP
In this Jan. 27, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressing the crowd during an NFL football Super Bowl send-off rally for the team, in Foxborough, Mass. Attorneys for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft want a Florida judge to block prosecutors from using secretly taken video that police say shows him engaging in paid sex acts with female massage parlor employees.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida health inspector testified Tuesday that she saw possible evidence of human trafficking at the massage parlor where police say New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft later was accused of paying for sex.

Inspector Karen Herzog told a judge she saw clothing, beds and other items that led her to believe women were living in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa when she visited in November. Herzog testified that the manager was trying to hide evidence, and she feared she might be attacked.

Kraft’s attorneys say Herzog was acting as a police agent and should have obtained a warrant before conducting the search. The lawyers want January video of Kraft allegedly paying for sex twice at the spa thrown out and they cite Herzog’s inspection as one reason. Herzog said all massage parlors receive unannounced inspections annually and Orchids of Asia was due. She said several times a year she inspects massage parlors at the request of police who suspect prostitution.

Prosecutors have said they ultimately found no evidence of trafficking at the spa. The defense is trying to convince Judge Leonard Hanser that Jupiter Detective Andrew Sharp’s illegally obtained a warrant to install video cameras and that Kraft’s constitutional right to privacy was violated.

The 77-year-old Kraft, who is worth $6 billion, and 24 other men were charged in February with misdemeanor solicitation for allegedly paying for sex there over a January weekend. The female owner and three employees are charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Kraft, who was not in court, has pleaded not guilty to paying for sex twice but has also publicly apologized for his behavior.



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