Kraft offered plea deal in massage parlor prostitution case
Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, has been offered a deal that includes paying a fine and doing community service in return for admitting that if his soliciting prostitution case were to go to trial, the prosecutors would win.
The prosecutors in Palm Beach County, Fla., offered the deal to Kraft and 24 other men who last month were arrested on misdemeanor charges of buying sex at the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter, Fla.
The police and prosecutors say the massage parlor is the focus of a wider investigation into human sex trafficking in several counties in Florida. Kraft – who faces two misdemeanor counts – and the other 24 men have been charged only with soliciting prostitution; they have not been charged with any crimes in connection to sex trafficking.
News of the plea offer was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.
The investigation into sex trafficking is still continuing, said Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the state attorney’s office in Palm Beach County.
The offers were sent to all 25 men on Tuesday. It is unclear how many of them will agree to the terms, particularly the provision that requires them to admit that prosecutors would win their case if it went to trial.
Dave Aronberg, the state attorney for Palm Beach County, said on Twitter that “the offer of a deferred prosecution agreement with several conditions to first-time offenders is standard in cases like this.”
Kraft pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to appear in front of a judge on March 28, though he may be represented by his lawyer.
As a first-time offender with no criminal record, Kraft is unlikely to spend any time in jail.
Misdemeanors for soliciting prostitution rarely generate headlines. But the involvement of one of the most powerful owners in the NFL has turned what was a local story into an international spectacle. It has also shined a light on the problem of human sex trafficking, even though Kraft has not been accused of any involvement in that part of the investigation.
Some lawmakers in Washington, including Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, said they intended to take the campaign donations they received from Kraft, as well as John W. Childs, another billionaire facing similar misdemeanor charges, and donate the money to groups focused on ending human trafficking, according to The Boston Globe.