New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution, according to police in Jupiter, Florida. During a Friday-morning press conference, Jupiter police Chief Daniel J. Kerr told reporters that the charges are tied to a monthslong investigation into a human trafficking ring, and that there are two videos of separate incidents of Kraft receiving “acts” at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. According to Jupiter officials, Kraft is one of 25 people who will be charged as a result of this bust.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity,” a spokesman for Kraft told TMZ Sports. “Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
According to TCPalm.com, the charges are the result of a six-month investigation that “revealed human traffickers were luring vulnerable girls to massage parlors in Indian River County, where they were coerced into working as prostitutes.” Ten spas around the state were shut down Tuesday as police started making arrests, and Indian River County agencies have issued warrants for 173 people on charges “ranging from human trafficking to racketeering to soliciting prostitution,” according to that report. A 16-page probable-cause affidavit in the Jupiter case, from Palm Beach County, can be found here.
Police said that Kraft, 77, has yet to be arrested, and that a warrant for his arrest is with the state attorney’s office. It will be sent to Kraft’s home in Massachusetts.
The NFL said in a statement on Friday afternoon that it “is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”
The Patriots won Super Bowl LIII earlier this month. The team has not yet issued a comment.
This piece was updated at 2:35 p.m. ET on February 22 with additional information after publication.