BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is one of 25 people being charged in a prostitution and human sex trafficking sting out of Jupiter, Florida.
Jupiter Police Chief Daniel J. Kerr said at a press conference Friday that Kraft, 77, is being charged with two counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Kraft denied the allegations.
"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity," the statement read. "Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."
The NFL also released a statement:
Dective Andrew Sharp, the lead investigator in the case, said surveillance video from inside the Orchids of Asia spa shows Kraft receiving the alleged sex acts. Sharp said that it appeared from the evidence that Kraft was familiar with the establishment.
Police entered the spa on Tuesday and arrested two people. According to the Associated Press, the investigation comes amid a larger crackdown on sex trafficking in the Palm Beach area that has so far netted about 200 arrest warrants.
"Obviously our concern in this investigation centers around the possibility of victims of human trafficking," Chief Kerr said. "We're working with advocacy groups and interpreters and getting as much support for them as we possibly can."
WBZ-TV Chief Investigative Reporter Cheryl Fiandaca said Kraft is potentially facing a year in jail, a year on probation, and criminal fines—but that those running the spa could face much bigger charges.
"Obviously the women that are working, if the police believe that they are being trafficked, that they are there against their will and that they are involved in this because these people are making money off of them, that is a very very big concern, human trafficking, especially in the Florida area," Fiandaca said.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Kraft, since he isn't a resident of Florida.
"The folks that are residents of Florida will be getting basically a summons in the mail that says, you know, you need to come and turn yourselves in," Fiandaca said. "In this particular case, they'll issue an arrest warrant, and then Mr. Kraft, along with his lawyers, will contact the authorities there and set up an opportunity for him to come in and turn himself in, so he will be formally charged in court."
Kraft, a widower, has owned the Patriots for 25 years.
Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports