New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was officially charged with first degree solicitation of a prostitute in Florida on Monday, Feb. 25.
Kraft has a court date scheduled for April 24. He doesn't need to appear and a lawyer can appear for him.
Kraft, 77, is facing two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of a prostitute connected to a sting at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla.
According to court documents, one of Kraft's visit to Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., was on Jan. 20, prior to the Patriots playing the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game in Missouri. Kraft allegedly visited the spa on two occasions, according to law enforcement.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg didn't specifically discuss Kraft's case during a Monday press conference in which he called human trafficking "evil in our midst."
Earlier Monday, the NFL released an updated statement on the status of the pillar of the New England franchise.
"Our personal conduct policy applies to everyone in the NFL. We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under our policy. We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring that we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts," read the NFL statement.
Kraft and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have had a frosty relationship at times, notably during the infamous Deflategate investigation that led to a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady, but they also powered the labor negotiations and CBA deal signed with players amid a lockout in 2011.
If convicted of the misdemeanor charges, he would face a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine as a first-time offender. He also could be subject to disciplinary action by the NFL.
Kraft is alleged to have paid for sex at Orchids of Asia Day Spa, one of 10 massage parlors shut down in the region after a long investigation showed the women in the spas were sex servants, according to authorities.
Police said Kraft, who owns a home in nearby West Palm Beach, was seen at the spa in Jupiter on Jan. 19 and that he "was positively identified by Massachusetts driver's license."
According to police, video surveillance caught Kraft arriving at the spa the following day at 10:59 a.m. EST -- the day of the AFC title game -- and said he paid cash to an "Asian female."
Police said Kraft pulled up at the spa in a 2015 blue Bentley and was dressed in blue shorts, a dark long-sleeved shirt and a blue baseball cap.
Hidden cameras in the room displayed an encounter that lasted less than 15 minutes. The woman helped Kraft get dressed and Kraft gave her at least $100, according to police.
Kraft, who also owns the New England Revolution MLS franchise, denied the accusations on Friday afternoon.
"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."
The NFL also released a statement.
"The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments," the league said Friday afternoon.
Authorities at a news conference on Friday said much of their evidence in the investigation comes from cameras worn on officers' uniforms and from surveillance that was conducted via hidden cameras inside the day spa. The cameras captured the alleged sexual acts being committed inside the spa, including those involving Kraft.
"We're as deeply stunned as anyone else," Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said of Kraft's alleged involvement.