Robert K. Kraft, the billionaire owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, was charged Friday with two counts of soliciting sex from a prostitute, according to police in Jupiter, Florida.
The charges against Kraft, 77, were part of a broad investigation into prostitution and human trafficking in day spas and massage parlors in Florida. The police said that 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. At least one person, Lanyun Ma, 49, was charged with human trafficking. More than two dozen men have been arrested; hundreds have been charged, police said.
Kraft is the most prominent name to emerge in the case.
All of the sexual encounters that have resulted in charges were videotaped as part of the investigation, police said. Investigators, who have been conducting surveillance of massage parlors in the area for six months, charged “nearly 200” people, though only a fraction have been arrested so far.
A spokesman for 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.”
— New York Times News Service