Cops in Robert Kraft case destroy their remaining credibility with 'boxer shorts' defense

Alex Reimer
May 02, 2019 - 1:52 pm

Detectives in Robert Kraft’s case are invoking the so-called “boxer shorts exception” to explain their use of covert surveillance inside of day spas. These guys are like a collection of Barney Fifes, except they come armed with sneak-and-peek warrants.

Florida prosecutors once again defended their use of the dramatic spying measure in court Wednesday, arguing they exercised discretion when deciding whether to view the hidden cam footage of the customers at Orchids of Asia Day Spa. 

“If they kept their boxer shorts on, then it was more than likely no illicit activity was going to occur,” detective Andrew Sharp told a judge, via the New York Post. “When you go into one of these places and get completely naked, it’s a sign you’re a commercial sex purchaser.”

This is how far the credibility of these overzealous cops has fallen. When charges were first announced against Kraft and the other johns, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder declared they were ensnared in a widespread international human trafficking ring, pounding his chest about law enforcement’s heroic work to free the enslaved women. 

“The monsters are the men,” Snyder said at the time, per the New York Times.

Now, after prosecutors have admitted no human trafficking charges will be filed, a Martin County judge ruled spa surveillance tapes cannot be used as evidence in the related cases under Snyder’s jurisdiction. The ruling is a big win for Kraft, who’s looking to suppress the videos in his own case. 

Judge Leonard Hanser has already ruled Kraft’s tapes cannot be released until a jury is seated, echoing the decision of another judge who’s presiding over the case involving Kraft’s masseuse.

It increasingly looks like police trumped up human trafficking charges in order for a judge to OK the surreptitious surveillance of these day spas. Soliciting prostitution is a misdemeanor in Florida. This appears to be an extreme example of prosecutorial overreach. 

Kraft may not be a sympathetic figure, but his privacy is worth defending, because it affects all of us. The placement of your boxer shorts shouldn’t determine whether Detective Creepy gets to watch your massage from his cruiser in the parking lot.

Related: Judge: Robert Kraft needs to appear in court May 21