Florida Police: Robert Kraft, Owner Of Patriots, To Face Solicitation Charges
A Florida police chief has announced that Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, will face charges of soliciting prostitution after he was caught on surveillance video allegedly in the midst of a sexual act.
Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr announced the charges on Friday as part of a sting on a local spa suspected of human trafficking and potentially money laundering.
Kraft is one of dozens to face similar charges. Kerr says he is being charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution, a misdemeanor, tied to two different visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
Detective Andrew Sharp was asked at the Friday news conference if there is video evidence of Kraft in the massage parlor room receiving the alleged acts. "The answer to that is yes," he said.
Sharp later elaborated saying the footage — collected over several months — had been surreptitiously recorded from secret cameras mounted inside massage parlor rooms throughout the spa.
He added that Kraft, who he said was a regular, visited twice "approximately a month ago" and was taken to the spa located in a strip mall, by a driver.
"I can't speak to the exact dollar number that [Kraft] paid, however, there is a specific number for a time frame when you are there that you pay," Sharp told reporters.
According to the detective, customers at the day spa typically paid $59 for a half hour and $79 for a full hour. Sharp did not confirm how much time Kraft allegedly spent at the spa.
Kerr said that an arrest warrant will be issued for Kraft.
The 77-year-old Kraft has been the owner of the Patriots since 1994.
The Patriots did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment. A spokesperson for Kraft told The Associated Press that they "categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."
In an emailed statement, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote, "The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments."
McCarthy added that "all personnel" are subject to the league's personal conduct policy which explicitly prohibits sex offenses.
"It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime," the policy states. "We are all held to a higher standard and must conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible, promotes the values of the NFL, and is lawful."
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