Weeks after his New England Patriots won Super Bowl LIII, team owner Robert Kraft is reportedly wanted for soliciting prostitution in Jupiter, Florida.
TMZ reports the 77-year-old Kraft will likely face charges of "soliciting a prostitute on an at least 2 separate occasions."
Kraft appears to have been caught up in a reported human trafficking sting operation that had been targeting Jupiter "massage parlors" that were actually fronts for prostitution for the past few months. Police say that surveillance footage and body-cam footage shows the millionaire being driven to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa by a chauffeur and paying for the "services" of a sex worker. This allegedly took place "roughly a month ago."
Kraft is believed to have paid between $59 and $79 per hour for the alleged visits.
Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr says he was "as stunned as anybody else" when he saw that Kraft was a suspect in the sting.
The warrant has been sent to Kraft's home in Massachusetts, and Kraft will be given a notice to appear in court to face the misdemeanor charges. According to the law firm of Finebloom, Haenel and Higgins, the penalty for soliciting prostitution in Florida is a fine of up to $5,000 for the first offense and requires mandatory STD testing as well.Kraft will almost certainly face discipline from the NFL, although as of this writing it remains unclear what that could be. The NFL has so far not commented on the story. Kraft is also the owner of Major League Soccer's New England Revolution; it remains unclear, as of this writing, if he will also face discipline from MLS. As of this writing, neither MLS nor the Revolution has commented on this situation.
As Pro Soccer USA reports, a spokesperson for Kraft issued a statement denying the charges.
"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."Meanwhile, according to NBC Sports, Adam Schefter of ESPN says that Kraft is "not the biggest name" attached to this sting. However, why the Jupiter police would publicly disclose that Kraft was allegedly involved, and not the bigger "name," remains unclear. It also remains unclear where Adam Schefter got this information.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder says that up to 100 men are facing charges of solicitation and prostitution. Further, three women, believed to be the operators of the human trafficking operation, have also been taken into custody.