Kraft cleared of sex charge


FORT LAUD­ERDALE, Fla. — Florida prose­cu­tors dropped a mis­de­meanor charge against New Eng­land Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Thurs­day af­ter courts blocked their use of video that al­legedly shows him pay­ing for mas­sage par­lor sex.

Palm Beach County State At­tor­ney Dave Aron­berg said dur­ing an on­line press con­fer­ence that with­out the video record­ings of Kraft, 79, and two dozen other men pay­ing for sex at the Or­chids of Asia Day Spa, there wasn’t enough ev­i­dence to con­vict them.

Kraft’s at­tor­neys de­clined im­me­di­ate com­ment. He could still face sus­pen­sion or other pun­ish­ment from the Na­tional Foot­ball League. The NFL did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment and the Patriots de­clined com­ment. Shortly af­ter be­ing charged, Kraft is­sued an apol­ogy for his ac­tions.

Aron­berg said that even though the charges were dropped against the spa’s cus­tomers, no one should doubt what oc­curred there. He said rich men from a lo­cal coun­try club “lined up” to pur­chase sex at the spa, which was in a sub­ur­ban shop­ping cen­ter near a su­per­mar­ket, restau­rants and other busi­nesses.

The record­ings, which have not been made public, are the only known ev­i­dence the men paid for sex. Of the other men charged, 19 cases were dropped.

Kraft and the oth­ers were charged in Fe­bru­ary 2019 in a mul­ti­county in­ves­ti­ga­tion of mas­sage par­lors. Po­lice say the record­ings show Kraft and other men en­gag­ing in sex acts with women and pay­ing them.


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