Back in February this year, news broke that the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft had been charged on charges of soliciting prostitution out of a massage parlor in Florida. The charges came after he was caught on tape during a sting operation. Throughout the saga, Kraft has maintained his innocence.
Now he has requested that his trial, for which he has entered a not guilty plea, be a jury trial, according to Reuters.
Per the publication, the papers Kraft filed on Tuesday to make the request also “formally waive Kraft’s right to an arraignment hearing and reiterate the not guilty plea he entered last month.” Kraft’s arraignment was already on the docket, but will have been canceled following his formal request. The request will likely mean a lengthier trial for Kraft over a bench trial.
The request also appears to be a sudden change of tactic from Kraft and his legal counsel. They had previously specifically requested a bench trial after Kraft was originally charged.
Despite his continued declaration of innocence, Kraft did feel the need to issue an official apology at the beginning of this week.
“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years,” the statement read.
From Palm Beach County court records: Robert Kraft waives his arraignment, pleads not guilty to all charges, and requests a jury trial. pic.twitter.com/nMhKztCodd
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) March 26, 2019
According to Reuters, Kraft was among more than 20 men who were charged as part of the sting operation at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. All of them were given the option to have the charges against them dropped, but that box on the multiple choice test came with a number of caveats: They would have to “perform 100 hours of community service, take a class on the dangers of prostitution, be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and pay a fine.”
Given the fact that Kraft is discussing trial options and changing his mind about what kind he would like, one could reasonably assume he thought little of having to take STD tests and pick up trash at the side of the road, instead opting to take his chances in court.
As Yahoo News is reporting, Kraft was among the group of men charged in the case who last week filed a motion to have the video footage on which they were caught blocked from being released to the public. This despite the fact that surveillance footage could also be used to prove him innocent, if that were the case. Officers involved in the investigation believe the likelihood that it will be released is quite high, despite the men’s objections.