Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, has been charged with soliciting prostitution at a spa in Florida, where surveillance video showed him receiving sexual services, police said Friday.
The 77-year-old Kraft is among more than two dozen people accused in a police sting as part of a human trafficking probe, according to authorities in Jupiter, Florida.
"He is one of the individuals. That would be Mr. Robert Kraft," Police Chief Daniel Kerr said at a press conference.
"He is being charged with the same offense as the others, and that is soliciting another to commit prostitution."
"We're as equally stunned as anyone else," said the chief, referring to Kraft's alleged crime, which is a misdemeanor.
Kraft is a friend of President Donald Trump, who last month touted his administration's efforts to eradicate human trafficking. Trump said human traffickers commit "heinous crimes."
Kraft is not accused of or charged with being involved in human trafficking.
A spokesman for Kraft said, "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told CNBC, "The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments."
The NFL has a 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."
Trump, when asked about Kraft by reporters in the Oval Office said, "It's very sad," but also noted that, "He's proclaimed his innocence."
"I'm very suprised to see it," Trump said.