New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been criminally charged with two counts of soliciting prostitutes, according to multiple outlets, including CNBC.
According to police, Kraft was caught on surveillance video receiving sexual services at a spa in Florida.
Kraft, 77, was busted as part of a larger sting operation. Kraft is just one of over two dozen people being charged.
Shockingly, and sickeningly, Kraft seems to have been swept into a sting operation trying to bust a human trafficking operation.
“He is one of the individuals. That would be Mr. Robert Kraft,” a top police official said at a press conference, per CNBC.
Even police seemed stunned that the normally unassuming Kraft, who at least has a reputation for being a classy owner, was swept up in this sting operation.
“He is being charged with the same offense as the others, and that is soliciting another to commit prostitution,” the official said. “We’re as equally stunned as anyone else.”
A Kraft representative said the Patriots owner denied he engaged in “any illegal activity.”
Statement from a spokesperson for Patriots owner Robert Kraft: “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
— Jill Martin (@ByJillMartin) February 22, 2019
Kraft was not in custody early Friday but an arrest warrant was in the works.
“There was two incidences,” an official in Jupiter, Florida said, per CNBC.
“The spa was one of 10 that were reportedly shut down in Florida after a seven-month investigation found women in ‘sexual servitude,’ according to arrest records,” Daily Mail reported.
The outlet also reported that Martin County Sheriff Will Snyder said many of the women at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter lived there and were not allowed to leave. Many of them were reportedly from China.
The owner of the spa, 58-year-old Hua Zhang, was also arrested and charged with 26 counts of procuring prostitution, per the Daily Mail.
Robert Kraft’s wife, Myra, died in 2011 at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer.
In early 2018, Kraft was involved in controversy when his then 38-year-old girlfriend, Ricki Noel Lander, gave birth to a baby. Many presumed that it was Kraft’s child, though people were “afraid to openly talk about it.”
It is unclear if Kraft and Noel Lander are still together.
Police have also not specified when the alleged solicitation of prostitutes occurred, so it’s too early to say if Kraft had cheated on a significant other at the time of his transgressions.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.