On Tuesday, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly was offered a plea deal under which his solicitation of prostitution charges would be dropped.
On Wednesday, CNN reported that Kraft’s legal team will not accept the plea deal, which would have required him to admit that he would have been convicted if the case went to trial.
A source familiar with the case tells CNN’s @jasoncarrollcnn & Kevin Conlon that New England @Patriots owner Robert Kraft will not accept the plea deal offered by Florida prosecutors in the Orchids of Asia day spa case.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 20, 2019
Kraft appears ready to fight the charges and will not admit to any wrongdoing. That is in line with the statement that a representative of the Patriots owner released the day he was charged.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity,” the representative said Feb. 22. “Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting any further.”
The charges the Patriots owner faces are misdemeanors and carry a 60-day jail sentence.
Other things in the rejected plea deal reportedly included Kraft paying a $5,000 fine for each offense, completing a prostitution educational course and submitting for STD testing.
ESPN reported that Kraft was willing to do all three of those things, but admitting that he would have been found guilty had the case gone to trial was the deal-breaker.
In addition to rejecting the plea deal Wednesday, Kraft also filed a motion to suppress evidence from the case, The New York Times reported.
The motion is an effort to make sure the “graphic and damning” video evidence police described isn’t released if no plea deal is reached.
Both the prosecutors and Kraft’s legal team continued to negotiate Wednesday, and it’s still possible that Kraft will reconsider and accept a plea deal.
He also could accept a diversion program offer which would mean, in a legal sense, that the incident never happened.
Kraft has never specifically denied receiving sexual services at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, but his representative denied that a crime occurred.
ESPN reported that Kraft’s biggest concern is having his name connected to possible sex trafficking.
Court documents say the two women from whom Kraft is accused of receiving services likely were not trafficked as both have valid Florida driver’s licenses and are licensed massage therapists in the state.
Even though it has been described as a sex trafficking case, thus far no one has been charged with human trafficking.
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