Florida law enforcement was handed an appropriate slap on the wrist when video evidence of their much-hyped “human trafficking” massage parlor stings was thrown out.
Yesterday, Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser ruled that prosecutors cannot use surveillance video and other evidence in the prostitution solicitation case against Robert Kraft. Kraft sought to suppress the evidence obtained by police from the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, arguing that it violated his Fourth Amendment rights and Florida law.
Under the guise of investigating “human trafficking” police in Jupiter and other Florida cities set up hidden cameras in massage parlors and for weeks engaged in surveillance that was unnecessary and inappropriate, capturing hundreds of people in various states of undress. As it turned out, no (none, zip, zilch, nada) arrests were made for human trafficking.
“The fact that some totally innocent women and men had their entire lawful time spent in a massage room fully recorded and viewed intermittently by a detective-monitor is unacceptable,” Judge Hanser wrote.
Unfortunately, Robert Kraft and dozens of other men were shamed by this police operation, but fortunately for all that come after him, Kraft had the means and resources to fight back. It gave the world a glimpse into Florida’s shady practices of inventing police “operations” to create headlines.
In the end, millions of dollars of our taxpayer money was wasted and men were shamed for committing embarrassing misdemeanor offenses, but the biggest shame and embarrassment should be on the Florida Sheriffs departments.