New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has pleaded not guilty to charges of soliciting a prostitute, court records show, stemming from allegations he twice paid employees of a Florida massage parlor for sex acts.
A lawyer for Kraft entered the not-guilty pleas to the two misdemeanor charges Tuesday, according to court records in Palm Beach County, Florida, and requested a bench trial in the case. If found guilty, Kraft is expected to face fines and community service, but no jail time.
While police in Jupiter, Florida, say they have videotape evidence of Kraft engaged in sex acts with employees of the massage parlor he then paid with cash, the 77-year-old billionaire has denied, in a public statement, that he "engaged in any illegal activity." The charges against Kraft came as part of months long investigation by several law enforcement agencies in Florida of massage parlors suspected of involvement in human trafficking. Police have yet to file trafficking-related charges against any of the owners or operators of the parlors.
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, Kraft could face punishment by the NFL, including potentially a suspension or fine, for violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
This article was written by Will Hobson, a reporter for The Washington Post.