A police raid on a Florida day spa caught an unlikely suspect: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Kraft, 77, a businessman with a diverse group of assets in the paper, packaging, sports and entertainment fields, has owned the Patriots since 1994 and seen his team compete in 10 Super Bowls (including one earlier this month).
The team owner has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting someone to commit prostitution, in pair of incidents connected to two different spa visits.
The Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida has been under surveillance for several months, according to Police Chief Daniel Kerr.
Kraft is one of at least 25 people charged in relation to the investigation there, and police say they have video evidence against “all of the individuals being charged.”
The news is part of a widespread investigation by local police, Homeland Security, and the IRS into human trafficking and prostitution in the West Palm Beach area which has resulted in more than 200 warrants being issued in recent days.
Police also shared details of the investigation at Orchids of Asia, which featured undercover police wearing body cameras, hidden cameras, and ongoing surveillance of the spa.
A police spokeswoman clarified that charges have been filed against Kraft, but he has not been arrested. A warrant will be issued for his arrest instead, and Kraft will be sent a court summons in the mail.
Kraft could face a year in jail, probation, or fines for the charges. He would also face disciplinary action from the NFL if he is found guilty, because of the league’s personal conduct policy.
In a statement, Kraft’s spokesperson “categorically” denied he committed a crime. “Because it is a judicial matter,” they said, “we will not be commenting further.”
We’ll share more updates on this story as they arrive.