- Police in Jupiter, Fla., on Friday said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft would be charged two counts of soliciting prostitution.
- Cops said Kraft and other men received sexual services for money at a spa where police were investigating possible human trafficking.
- The NFL issued a statement saying that it was seeking an understanding of the facts in Kraft's case. "We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts," the football league said.
Florida prosecutors on Monday confirmed they will charge New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with soliciting prostitution at a local spa, and issue a summons for his arrest.
One of the two incidents that prosecutors are charging Kraft for occurred in Jupiter, Fla., with a woman on the morning of Jan. 20 — hours before the Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Missouri in the AFC Championship, according to a charging document.
A day before that, police said, Kraft paid two women at the spa for an encounter, for which he has also been charged.
The 77-year-old Kraft, whose football team won a record-tying sixth Super Bowl earlier this month, faces a possible sentence of up to one year in jail if convicted of the two misdemeanor charges.
The billionaire also faces a $5,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and attending a class in the dangers of human trafficking — all of which are mandatory. He is due to be arraigned in Palm Beach County Court on April 24.
Kraft is not in custody, but "his attorney has been provided the summons," said Palm Beach County State's Attorney David Aronberg at a press conference.
Kraft through a spokesman has denied the allegations.
The Palm Beach County State's Attorney's Office case against Kraft and about two dozen other men who are also accused of soliciting prostitution stems from a broader police investigation into possible human trafficking of women who were kept as prostitutes by other people.
Kraft is not charged with human trafficking.
But Aronberg said, "These cases aren't about any one defendant or any group of defendants."
"The larger picture, which we must all confront, is the cold reality that many prostitutes in cases like this are victims, often lured into this country with promises of a better life, only to be forced to live and work in a sweatshop or a brothel, subject to force, fraud or coercion," the prosecutor said.
The case against Kraft centers around encounters had had with women with women at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, according to police. Kraft has a home not far from Jupiter.
An affidavit seeking to charge Kraft says that he was driven to the spa Jan. 19 in a white Bentley. For a visit the next day, the affidavit said, Kraft was driven there in a blue Bentley.
The affidavit is based on surveillance video that police had from the spa, which includes footage from cameras investigators hid in rooms in the spa under a "sneak and peek" warrant.
The affidavit notes that after Kraft was seen leaving the spa on Jan. 19, police "conducted a traffic stop on the" Bentley and identified the front seat passenger as Kraft from his Massachusetts driver's license.
Police said Kraft entered the spa that day at about 4:25 p.m. and "paid for services in cash at the front desk to an Asian female."
He then was taken to a massage room where he "undressed, laid on the massage bed completely nude and partially covered himself with a sheet," the affidavit said.
Soon afterward, two women came into the room and "both began massaging Kraft," the affidavit said.
After an encounter with them, Kraft gave both women cash, police said.
The next day, on Jan. 20, Kraft arrived at the spa in a blue Bentley and went inside "where he paid cash to an Asian female," the affidavit said.
Kraft then was escorted to a room by a woman, whom he hugged, according to the affidavit.
Kraft then "took off all of clothing [sic] laid face up on the massage table and [redacted] hugged him again," police wrote.
The woman then fondled Kraft's genitals, according to the document.
After their alleged sexual encounter — which lasted less than 15 minutes — the woman "helped him get dressed and hugged him again," the document said.
"Kraft gave [the woman] a $100 bill plus at least one other unidentifiable bill," according to police.
About seven-a-half hours later, the AFC Championship game kicked off in Kansas City, with the Patriots owner in attendance.
Police in Jupiter last Friday revealed that they were lodging two counts of soliciting prostitution against Kraft. Aronberg's statement Monday confirmed that Kraft will be prosecuted for the crime.
A spokesman for Kraft last week said, "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."
The NFL said: "Our Personal Conduct Policy applies equally to everyone in the NFL. We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under the Policy."
"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."
The league's conduct policy mandates that owners, players and other employees to "refrain from 'conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in' the NFL.