What I’m Hearing: TC Palm’s Arnie Rosenberg from the Jupiter Police Department where detectives allege New England Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft solicited prostitutes.
USA TODAY Sports
JUPITER, Fla. — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in connection with a Florida spa tied to an international human trafficking ring, police said Friday.
The NFL owner was charged with paying for sexual services at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter.
The spa was among 10 shut down in Orlando, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast after a several-month investigation revealed women there were in “sexual servitude,” according to arrest records.
A detective said the acts were captured on surveillance video.
Kraft, 77, has not yet been arrested on the misdemeanor charges, according to the Jupiter Police Department.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity,” a spokesman for Kraft said in a statement. “Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
Said the NFL in a statement, “The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”
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Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994 for $172 million. He is the head of the Kraft Group, a holding company with investments in a number of industries, including sports and real estate. He is worth an estimated $6.6 billion, according to Forbes.com.
Kraft is a longtime seasonal resident of Palm Beach County, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.
Under Kraft’s ownership, the Patriots have played in 10 Super Bowls and have won a record-tying six Super Bowl titles, including their latest in February with a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
An investigation into the Jupiter spa began in October.
Women, many of them from China, lived in the spa and were not permitted to leave, according to Martin County Sheriff Will Snyder.
The owner of that spa, Hua Zhang, 58, of Winter Garden, was arrested and charged with deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, keeping and frequenting a house of prostitution and 26 counts of procuring for prostitution.
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