New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been hit with two counts of soliciting prostitution, NPR reports via the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office. Prosecutors allege he visited a Florida massage parlor for sex acts on the morning of the AFC Championship Game, which he attended in Kansas City later that day, reports the AP. According to documents released by the attorney's office on Monday, it was his second visit to the parlor in less than 24 hours, with CNBC reporting he allegedly paid two women during that encounter; Kraft has a home in Palm Beach. The latest:
- The documents say Kraft arrived at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in a chauffeured 2015 blue Bentley at 11am on Jan. 20. He was videotaped receiving oral and manual sex from a woman at the spa at a strip mall in Jupiter. CNBC says the document describes a woman hugging him before, during, and after their alleged 15-minute encounter. Officials say he gave her a $100 bill and another bill that could not be identified.
- At a Monday news conference, State Attorney Dave Aronberg said Kraft is one of 25 people facing misdemeanor solicitation charges, with the penalty if found guilty being up to a year in prison along with a mandatory fine of $5,000 and community service.
- Aronberg said no one person was targeted in the sting, which was designed to stop human trafficking, though he didn't elaborate on the situation of the women who worked at the spa beyond saying they were victims. He answered in the affirmative when asked if authorities have video of Kraft engaging in sex acts inside.
- Through a rep, Kraft "categorically den[ied]" doing anything illegal and said no further comment would come.
- As for the NFL's take, it says it is "seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts," per CBS Sports. Sex offenses are a violation of the league's Personal Conduct Policy.
- As far as the NFL goes, Tom Brady appears to be standing by Kraft. TMZ photographed the two hugging Monday on the tarmac in Boston. The men and Brady's wife, Gisele, had just flown in from LA on Kraft's private jet.
- Kraft, who is worth an estimated $6.6 billion, will be arraigned April 24, per NPR. He does not need to personally appear at that time, and can send an attorney on his behalf, reports Boston.com, which has a look at what's next for Kraft—both legally and within the NFL—here. One thing is for certain: Since the charges are misdemeanors, no sex offender registration will be required in the case of a conviction.
- The Washington Post (which notes that Kraft's wife died in 2011) takes a look at Kraft's place in the NFL and how this whole thing impacts the league. The 77-year-old has a more prominent position than a typical team owner due to his positions on multiple committees and his close relationship with Commissioner Roger Goodell.
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