Florida prosecutors are asking a court to hold two of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s defense lawyers in criminal contempt for allegedly lying in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa prostitution case.
In a motion filed Tuesday, Palm Beach County prosecutors asserted that attorneys Alex Spiro and William Burck offered false evidence when the defense team questioned Jupiter police officer Scott Kimbark during a May 1 hearing on Kraft’s motion to suppress video evidence in the case and “by offering evidence they knew to be false during this witness’s testimony.”
At the hearing, Spiro repeatedly challenged Kimbark with accusations that his body camera had recorded him during a vehicle stop telling another officer that the lack of probable cause for the stop did not matter because he will just “make some [expletive] up.”
The stop happened about an hour before police pulled over the Bentley Kraft was riding in after leaving the spa on Jan. 19.
But prosecutors said that a review of the radio transmissions and the body-worn camera video found that Kimbark never made the inflammatory remark, according to the motion.
“Both Attorneys Spiro and Burck represented to the court that they had watched the body camera tape and heard this comment allegedly made during a previous stop,” prosecutors wrote. “Either the assertion that they had reviewed the tape was untrue, or their representation of what occurred during the tape was untrue.”
“The inevitable conclusion is that Attorneys Spiro and Burck intentionally misrepresented material facts . . . in an attempt to enhance the possibility of a favorable ruling,” they wrote.
In response, Burck called the allegations “an act of desperation by the State Attorney Dave Aronberg.”
“They know what they filed is false and misleading to the court, but they did it anyway because they are desperate,” he said in a statement. “That’s because they want to deflect attention away from their illegal and unconstitutional methods in investigating and prosecuting this case.”
“They first falsely accused Robert Kraft of being involved with human trafficking and then had to back off,” he continued. “Now they are falsely accusing the defense lawyers of lying to the court. It’s pathetic.”
Kraft, 77, is facing two counts of solicitation to commit prostitution in the case. He has pleaded not guilty.
Authorities allege Kraft paid for sex acts at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20. Officials said he was videotaped on both days by Jupiter police, who had secretly installed a surveillance camera while investigating the massage parlor.
During the traffic stop on Jan. 19, Kraft flashed one of his Super Bowl rings and asked a Jupiter police officer if he was a fan of the Miami Dolphins, according to court documents.
Despite being pulled over, Kraft returned to the spa the following day, about seven hours before the Patriots played the AFC title game in Kansas City, authorities have said.
Messages left with Jupiter police were not returned Tuesday.
In their motion, prosecutors also asserted that Spiro initiated a conversation with Kimbark in the hallway outside the courtroom, which they said violated the sequestration rule.
According to Kimbark’s affidavit, Spiro told him “I have a video of you saying stupid [expletive].”
Spiro then tried to extort Kimbark, prosecutors alleged, saying he would not use the video in court if another police officer did not testify.
Kraft’s defense team, however, said that exchange “occurred around fellow officers who all approached Mr. Spiro asking whether they could be released from testifying.”
“Far from seeking to intimidate Officer Kimbark, Mr. Spiro was simply trying to answer his inquiries and provide guidance on whether and to what extent Officer Kimbark might be called,” defense lawyers wrote in a motion.
The prosecution “is taking unfounded potshots at defense counsel in an effort to distract from its own longstanding, demonstrated pattern of misconduct and from the legal defects in its case,” Kraft’s lawyers wrote.