On Friday morning, police in Jupiter, Florida charged prominent New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft — who is worth an estimated $6.6 billion — with soliciting prostitution at a local spa. Local police claim that there is inculpatory video evidence.
Fox News reports:
Kraft, 77, is accused of paying for sexual acts at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, located about 90 miles north of Miami. His name was among more than a dozen who were charged.
Police said they have Kraft, and others, on video receiving the sexual acts and that he participated in prostitution in Florida two separate times.
The spa had been shut down after a months-long investigation revealed women were participating in "sexual servitude," TC Palm reported, citing arrest records. Nine other spas in Orlando, Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast had also been shut down as part of the investigation.
The Hill notes that Kraft is but one of 25 people who will face charges as a result of the investigation; local TV station WPTV, however, reports that about 100 men will be arrested, overall. Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr stated that the police's "concern in this investigation centers around the possibility of victims of human trafficking."
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder described the operation as being very elaborate. "The tentacles of this go from here to New York to China, in Florida from here to Orange County," he said.
"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity," a Kraft spokesperson said in a statement, per The Hill. "Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."
The news comes less than three weeks after Kraft, along with star quarterback Tom Brady, secured his sixth Super Bowl championship for the Patriots franchise.
Local investigative reporter Merris Badcock tweeted out the following full list of all those who will be charged in connection with the sex operation at Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
It is unclear what ramifications will follow, from an NFL perspective, from Kraft's being charged. WPTV reports the following:
According to the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, sex offenses are considered a violation of the league's standards of conduct.
At the time that the strengthened new conduct policy was announced in 2014, Kraft stood right next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell .
It is unknown at this time if the NFL will investigate Kraft in light of the charges against him. The policy states, however, "When the league becomes aware of conduct that may violate the policy, it will undertake an investigation."
Since 2012, Kraft has been dating actress Ricki Noel Lander, who is 39 years younger than he is. He had previously been married to Myra Hiatt, prior to her death in 2011. He owns a local home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Friday's news is hardly the first time that Kraft has found himself embroiled in a national headline-making controversy. The co-called "Spygate" saga, which involved the Patriots' illegal videotaping of opposing coaches during the 2007 season, ultimately engendered numerous lawsuits and led to a great deal of animus between the Patriots franchise and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.