Florida’s Sex Crime Case Against Kraft & Others Falls Apart Due to Police Failing to Properly Conduct Surveillance So as to Protect Privacy Rights
The trial involving Florida bringing a number of sex crime charges against Robert Kraft and others in connection with several massage parlors hit a wall on May 13, when the judge found that hundreds of hours of video surveillance police had gathered and based the case on were inadmissible in court because that surveillance also indiscriminately caught a number of individuals who were engaged in legitimate, legal activities in the massage parlors. Now, the criminal cases against Kraft and others are on “life-support” without the availability of incriminating evidence, and the state is expected to be forced into dropping the cases.
The Importance Of “Minimization Actions” & Privacy
When it comes to collecting evidence like this, police officers are supposed to be trained in knowing how to take “minimization actions,” whereby they ensure that the surveillance that they take only catches criminal activity and does not infringe on other law-abiding citizens’ privacy. This is because there’s an expectation of privacy for both businesses and public citizens.
How This Applies to Gathering Surveillance
Part of the purpose of forcing police officers to get a warrant in the first place is out of a necessity to protect privacy rights. When it comes to cracking down on sex crimes in brothels, police officers typically have to engage in undercover operations, whereby they conduct surveillance from the outside and tap phones–while also sending officers–as opposed to just setting up cameras in these parlors and filming everyone and everything.
Innocent Victims Decide to Sue Florida Police in Response
In this case, there is no question that the judge and others saw the police’s actions as overreach. Now, a number of innocent individuals are also suing the Florida police and prosecutors in federal court; claiming that their privacy was violated because they were filmed at the spa while engaged in completely legal activities (i.e. non-sexual massages). In other words, in attempting to catch people committing crimes, law-enforcement itself committed a number of legal violations. Allegedly illegal activities like those the police set out to monitor must be monitored live; they cannot simply keep the camera rolling; it must be stopped when there is no evidence of criminal behavior occurring. Any case that the state has against Kraft and others at this point would rely on witness cooperation without this key surveillance evidence being admissible in court.
If You Have Been Accused of a Sex Crime in Florida, Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you are facing sex crime charges, contact our experienced Orlando sex crimes attorneys at the Baez Law Firm right away to find out how we can help.