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Florida Police: Robert Kraft, Owner Of Patriots, To Face Solicitation Charges

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged with soliciting prostitution.
Mark Humphrey
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged with soliciting prostitution.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

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 potential 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 recorded by 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.

"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity," a spokesman for The Kraft Group told NPR in statement. "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."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.
Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.