An arrest warrant for Robert Kraft has been issued in Florida. Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr has confirmed that the owner of the New England Patriots has been named in the case.
Kraft is accused of soliciting a prostitute on at least two separate occasions. Police say that Kraft will be charged with “soliciting another to commit prostitution.” The incident(s) happened at a spa in Jupiter, Florida, about a month ago.
Shortly after the news broke, a spokesman for Kraft denied his client’s involvement.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further,” the spokesperson said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Chief Kerr Confirms That There Is Video Surveillance of Kraft at the Spa
During a press conference on Friday, February 22, Chief Kerr confirmed that Robert Kraft is one of the individuals who will be charged in this prostitution/human trafficking sting operation. Police say that he was driven to the spa on two separate occasions. The name of the driver has not been released but police have confirmed that the driver will not be facing charges.
While it’s unconfirmed how much money Kraft spent at the spa, the services were offered at $59 for 30 minutes and $79 for 60 minutes. Police could not confirm how much money Kraft had spent or how he paid for the services.
Police revealed that secret surveillance cameras were set up inside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Chief Kerr confirmed there is video evidence of Kraft participating in sexual acts.
According to public police records, the defendants in the case all had similar experiences at the spa. They walked in, paid at the counter, and were escorted to a private room. From there, a massage turned into a sexual act. The defendants were then cleaned up with the use of “white towels.” After receiving the services, the defendants would get dressed and most left a fairly hefty cash tip on the table before leaving the spa.
Kraft was considered a regular at the spa, according to Detective Andrew Sharp, who also spoke during today’s press conference. Sharp is the lead detective on the case.
“We’re as equally stunned as everybody else,” Kerr said after confirming Kraft’s involvement.
Kraft Will Be Charged With a Misdemeanor
Authorities say that Kraft will be charged with a misdemeanor and will have to appear in court. Solicitation of prostitution is covered in Florida Statute 796.07. Those who violate the statute would be found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500; a second violation becomes a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail.
Although there is a warrant out for his arrest in the state of Florida, Kraft will most likely not be taken into custody. His warrant can be handled by his lawyer.
The NFL is also aware of the case and Kraft could face discipline under the league’s personal conduct policy.
“The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments,” the league said in a statement on Friday.
Additional individuals are expected to be charged.
“These individuals will be charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution. We also have concerns and some appearances of obvious money laundering,” Kerr said.
Kerr confirmed that there aren’t any other high profile people on his current list of people who will be charged in connection with this case.
Two Women at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa Have Been Arrested
According to Chief Kerr, two women from the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. were arrested earlier this week.
Hua Zhang, 58, is the owner of the spa. She was taken into custody on Tuesday. She is facing charges of “deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, renting space to be used for prostitution and maintaining a house of prostitution,” according to police.
Another woman named Lei Wang has also been charged with deriving support from prostitution, according to CBS 12.
Two search warrants on businesses and five search warrants on residents in Jupiter, Martin County, and three in Orange County, have since been issued, according to Kerr. More charges could come in the next few weeks, pending the ongoing investigation.
Kraft’s Wife Died in 2011 & He’s Been Linked to Ricki Lander Over the Past Few Years
Kraft’s wife Myra died in 2011 after a battle with cancer. Robert and Myra got married in 1963 and had four sons together.
Jonathan A. Kraft is president of The Kraft Group and the New England Patriots, Daniel Kraft is president of International Forest Products, a company founded by Robert Kraft, Joshua Kraft is the president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, and David Kraft, the youngest of the four brothers, obtained a college degree from Harvard Business School.
About a year after Myra’s passing, Kraft was linked to Ricki Noel Lander. The current status of their relationship is unclear.
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