The billionaire owner of the current Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 77-year-old Robert Kraft, has been charged with soliciting prostitution at a spa in Florida (thanks to surveillance video showing him receiving sexual services).
Kraft is one among more than two dozen people accused in a police sting as part of a human trafficking probe and according to authorities in Jupiter, Florida he’s being charged with the same offense as everyone else, “soliciting another to commit prostitution,” a misdemeanor crime. Officials expect still more arrests in the coming days and weeks.
Kraft has not been charged with or accused of being involved with human trafficking.
His team said, “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”1 (Hmmm, what about that video footage?)
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the NFL is aware of the matter and is monitoring the situation. As it should, given the NFL’s personal conduct policy “that mandates that players, owners and other employees ‘must refrain from ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in’ the NFL.‘“1
Kraft is worth an estimated $6.6 billion and has been dating actress Ricki Noel Lander, 39, since 2012. His wife Myra Hiatt died in 2011.
“Kraft is accused of soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, where an investigation had found women were being held there in ‘sexual servitude.’
Many of the women at the spa were from China, and were not allowed to leave the premises, police said, according to the TCPalm.com news site. Police have already arrested multiple people accused of being involved in the business.
Kraft is being charged with crimes connected to two separate visits to the spa after being driven there, police said. Police also said he seemed to be a ‘regular’ at the business, which is located about 20 miles north of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which Kraft also regularly visits.
Average fees for sexual services at the spa range from $59 for a half-hour to $79 for an hour, police said.1
Kraft’s Patriots, who are part of the Kraft Group- a private holding company that owns a variety of businesses- were estimated to be worth $3.8 billion last year by Forbes. This makes them the second-most valuable NFL franchise (the Dallas Cowboys hold the number one spot).
Jupiter police Detective Andrew Sharp said, “The question was, does the video contain Mr. Kraft inside receiving the alleged acts. The answer to that is yes.”2 Evidence in the cases came from witnesses, surveillance video, and body cameras worn by officers.1
Jupiter Police Officer O’Neil Anderson, spokesman for the department, said the spa workers saw seven to eight johns a day and Martin County, Fla., Sheriff William Snyder said “the women working at the spa cooked on the back steps, slept in the massage parlors and on massage tables, and had no access to transportation.”2