New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft chose to skip the Navy SEAL Foundation’s benefit dinner in Times Square this week after he was dropped as the event’s honoree.
PageSix says that Kraft was scheduled to be given the Patriot Award, but after his arrest, his name was removed from the foundation website and brochures. The Navy SEAL Foundation subbed in former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for Kraft in the festivities.
Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution at a strip mall spa in Jupiter, Florida now under suspicion for human trafficking. The Navy SEALS are one of the organizations trying to combat international female human trafficking, so a source said they had to strike Kraft from the event.
“Obviously, Bob was taken off the bill. Jim gave a great speech — with no mention of Bob.”
As a result of the current situation, the New England Patriots owner decided not to attend the event as to not distract from the festivities. But former Marine and recent Oscar nominee Adam Driver was there with his wife, Joanne Tucker, and actor John Krasinski — who could not attend — donated $100,000 to the foundation.
Li Yang, the Trump donor who founded the spa where Robert Kraft was busted, allegedly also ran a firm that tried to peddle access to Trump and his family to wealthy Chinese executives https://t.co/l8rWKp9kkn— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 9, 2019
A spokesman for the foundation said that despite the Kraft situation, the gala was successful, raising over $9 million.
“The highlight of the evening was when recent Medal of Honor recipient Command Master Chief (SEAL) Britt K. Slabinksi presented the Fire in the Gut Award to the Royal Thai Naval Special Warfare Command ‘aka Thai Navy SEALs’ for their heroic cave rescue of the soccer team last summer.”
The Boston Globe is reporting that Robert Kraft will not appear in court March 28 for his arraignment on the two misdemeanor counts. Defense attorney Jack A. Goldberger clarified that his client is not required to attend the routine hearing per Florida court rules in the case of misdemeanors. He added that the hearing is boilerplate, and only an attorney representing the accused must be present.
According to The New York Times, Kraft was charged after the Jupiter Florida Police launched a sting at several massage parlors around the area, often using video surveillance. Police suspected that these businesses were participating in prostitution and that the women working there were victims.
Nearly a dozen businesses have been charged in this sting, as well as two dozen patrons and at least one business owner has been charged with human trafficking. Kraft is the most prominent person embroiled in this scandal.