A Florida Judge has ordered New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft to appear in court for the next hearing in his high-profile solicitation case.
The hearing is set for May 21st.
Kraft’s appearance was ordered after three days of deliberations over the admissibility of video which allegedly shows Kraft receiving sexual favors at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.
According to NBC:
Kraft, 77, pleaded not guilty in February to two counts of soliciting a prostitute at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Authorities claim he paid for a sex act at the spa on Jan. 19 and again the next morning, hours before the Patriots won the AFC Championship that sent them to the Super Bowl, according to court documents.Judge Leonard Hanser scheduled a ‘calendar call’ on May 21 to schedule the trial and ordered Kraft, who has been absent in hearings so far, to appear.
The judge’s order was at the end of a hearing Wednesday where he heard arguments from both the state and defense on whether surveillance video that allegedly shows Kraft engaging in illegal sex acts at the spa could be used in the NFL owner’s trial.
Kraft’s lawyers have fought the release of the video, believing that the public release of the footage would jeopardize the NFL owner’s chances of getting a fair trial.
Judge Hasner has ruled “…that the video should not be handed to the media as a public record until a jury is seated, a plea agreement is reached or the state of Florida drops the case.
“This case has drawn extraordinary media attention and it is not because of the nature of the alleged crime,” Hasner said. “Rather, it is because the Defendant is who he is.”
Kraft’s appearance on May 21st will be his first court appearance in relation to the solicitation charges.
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