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Appeal in Kraft Case May Delay NFL Discipline

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Robert Kovacik

Prosecutors appeal of the Florida judge's decision excluding videotape evidence in Patriots owner Robert Kraft's solicitation of prostitution case won't be heard until at least Sept. 4, meaning the case likely won't be resolved until after the NFL season begins.

On Tuesday, Judge Leonard Hanser agreed to allow the case to run through the appeals process before it goes to trial. Last week, Hanser ruled two videos that police say show Kraft paying for sex when he visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, in January can't be used as evidence in a trial. The Palm Beach County State Attorney is seeking to have that ruling overturned.

Kraft issued a public apology after the arrest and has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of solicitation. The Patriots owner also faces discipline from the NFL but the appeal and subsequent delay in the trial and resolution of the case could put that on hold as well.

The Patriots open their season and will raise their sixth Super Bowl championship banner Sunday night, Sept. 8, against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. 

At a press conference in March, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the Kraft case and said, "The Personal Conduct Policy applies to everybody. Commissioners, owners, executives, players, coaches. And it will be applied to everybody. But it will be done after we get all the facts. When we have all the information, we'll be fair and smart about it. That's what we'll do."

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