Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged in Florida Prostitution Sting

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged in Florida Prostitution Sting

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Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, was charged Friday with two counts of soliciting sex from a prostitute, according to the police in Jupiter, Fla.

The charges against Mr. Kraft, 77, were part of a broad investigation into prostitution and human trafficking in day spas and massage parlors in Florida. The police say the parlors were used for prostitution, and that many of the women involved were considered to be victims.

The investigation involved multiple law enforcement agencies, and resulted in raids and arrests connected to nearly a dozen businesses in the region this week. At least one person, Lanyun Ma, 49, was charged with human trafficking.

All of the sexual encounters that have resulted in charges were videotaped as part of the investigation, the police said. The police, who said they had been investigating massage parlors in the area for six months, arrested “nearly 200” people, though only 25 have been charged so far.

Mr. Kraft was said to have patronized a spa called Orchids of Asia, in Jupiter. The police said Mr. Kraft visited a spa in Jupiter twice, dropped off by a driver.

A spokesman for Mr. Kraft and the Patriots released a statement, saying: “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”

Mr. Kraft has owned the Patriots since 1994. The team has been the most successful in the N.F.L. since then, and won its sixth Super Bowl title this month.

While Mr. Kraft lives in Massachusetts, he has owned property in Palm Beach, Fla., for a number of years. A powerful voice among the small fraternity of N.F.L. owners, Mr. Kraft is also a vocal supporter and friend of President Trump. Earlier this month, Mr. Kraft said on Fox News that Mr. Trump was “working very hard to serve the best interests of the country.”

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