He says he went to a massage parlor, got undressed, and received a rubdown from a licensed therapist. Only he didn’t know then about a secret spy camera in the private room.
But it wasn’t a creepy criminal making the video recording — it was the cops. Jupiter police filmed dozens of massages over five days in January for a prostitution sting, which ensnared New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Yet an unknown number of those massages caught on camera apparently weren’t at all sexual. And now one of the men who had a legal message at Orchids of Asia Day Spa is suing, with more innocent clients of the business expected to follow.
On Monday, a Jupiter resident known only as “John Doe” filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the police department and State Attorney Dave Aronberg.
“The expectation of privacy is very high,” said Joseph Tacopina of New York City, one of the lawyers representing the massage customer. “You’re in a state of undress … and you’re being surreptitiously recorded without your consent — that’s illegal.”
It’s the first such lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, concerning the highly publicized massage parlor case. This claim cites a “grave risk that the video will be made public absent immediate court action.”
The case joins several other legal fights ongoing in state court, mainly involving billionaire Kraft’s defense against two misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution charges.
A Palm Beach County judge is considering Kraft’s bid to prevent the public release of videos recorded from his visits to the massage parlor on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20. Kraft argues that, at a minimum, the imminent release of the footage will ruin his chance at a fair trial, perhaps as soon as next month.