- Prosecutors have conceded that there is no evidence from the February Florida massage parlor bust that indicates human trafficking occurred.
- The revelation came during a hearing over the potential release of a video that prosecutors say shows Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for sex.
- Prosecutors and law enforcement have repeatedly referred to the investigation as one centered around human trafficking, but it appears they have been unable to produce evidence to that effect.
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In the Florida massage parlor case that left Patriots owner Robert Kraft facing two misdemeanour counts of solicitation of prostitution, Palm Beach prosecutor Greg Kridos reportedly conceded Friday that “There is no human trafficking that arises out of this investigation.”
The admission stands in contrast to earlier statements made by police and prosecutors about the case.
In the February 22 press conference held by the Jupiter police department announcing the Orchids of Asia Day Spa bust, Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said, “Obviously, our concern in this investigation centres around the possibility of victims of human trafficking.” After that point, much of the media coverage around the bust referred to it as a ‘sex-trafficking’ case.
Later that week, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder suggested that police were struggling to produce evidence to substantiate their suspicions that human trafficking occurred, saying, “It’s manifestly obvious to us that this is human trafficking, but without the evidentiary piece of a victim’s testimony we could not prevail in court.”
Prostitution is distinct from sex trafficking in that prostitution is voluntary.
As time went on, no solid sex trafficking charges appeared. The two misdemeanour charges against Kraft were offered to be dropped in a potential plea agreement, but Kraft refused, opting to take the case to court.
According to Deadspin, prosecutors likened the early trafficking claims to a traffic stop where, where someone is pulled over on the suspicion of carrying something illegal, but are let go if nothing is found. Unlike that scenario, Kraft is still being prosecuted for the two charges that he is fighting in court.
The admission came in court Friday during a hearing pertaining the pending issue of whether or not a video that prosecutors say shows Kraft paying for sex can be released, with Kraft’s attorney calling it, “basically pornography,” according to NBC Miami.
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