Prosecutors Reportedly Offer to Drop Soliciting Prostitution Charges Against Patriots Owner Robert Kraft

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 19, 2019USshare
Prosecutors Reportedly Offer to Drop Soliciting Prostitution Charges Against Patriots Owner Robert Kraft
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in a file photo. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Florida prosecutors have proposed a deal to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft that would see all charges against him dropped.

Kraft was one of dozens of men who were charged with soliciting prostitution as part of a sting that uncovered an international human trafficking ring, law enforcement officials announced late February. According to charging documents, Kraft, 77, visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January.

Police said they videotaped him engaging in a sex act and then handing over an undetermined amount of cash.

Prosecutors have now offered to drop the two counts of soliciting prostitution if he agrees to admit that he would have been proven guilty at trial.

Orchids of Asia Day Spa
People mill around in front of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft being charged with allegedly soliciting for sex, in Jupiter, Fla., on Feb. 22, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The proposed agreement calls for completion of an education course about prosecution, completion of 100 hours of community service, and screening for sexually transmitted diseases, reported the Wall Street Journal.

A number of other men facing the same charges were also offered the deal. It wasn’t clear if Kraft was considering the deal. If convicted, he faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine since he has no criminal record.

The sting has been heavily scrutinized and no one has been charged with human trafficking as of yet and affidavits thus far have not detailed evidence of human trafficking at the spa.

“The police are making this case that this is a major human trafficking ring, and that’s why it’s so serious,” said Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor and managing partner of Tucker Levin, PLLC who is not connected to the case.

NFL Karl
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (R), arrives on the field before the AFC Championship NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots, in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 20, 2019. (Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo, File)

“The fact that they had cameras installed in the locations for so long somewhat undermines the claim that there was an extraordinary danger to the people working in the establishment,” said Levin.

The National Football League could punish Kraft even if he’s not convicted or if he takes the plea deal. Shortly after the charges were announced, the league said that it would treat the charges against him like it treats charges against others involved in the league.

“Our personal conduct policy applies to everyone in the NFL. We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under our policy,” the NFL said in a statement. “We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring that we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts.”

NTD Photo
Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates on Cambridge street during the New England Patriots Victory Parade in Boston, Mass., on Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Kraft through a spokesman has denied that he engaged in any illegal activity.

The case drew nationwide attention in part because Kraft was charged. The New England Patriots are one of the most successful sports franchises of the past several decades and won yet another Super Bowl in February. It was the sixth since Kraft bought the team in 1994.

President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House after the charges were announced that he was surprised to see Kraft had been among those charged.

“It’s very sad,” he told reporters at the White House. “He’s proclaimed his innocence totally, but I’m very surprised to see it.”

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