ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is “not the biggest name involved” in a prostitution case in South Florida.
“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,” The Daily Wire reported. “Local police claim that there is inculpatory video evidence.
Following the news about Kraft, Schefter reported on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that Kraft is supposedly not the biggest name involved.
“There are people down there in that area I’m told who say this story is going to heat up and get a lot worse,” Schefter reported. “I don’t mean involving Robert Kraft, I’m talking about with all the human trafficking that has gone on down there, I’m also told that Robert Kraft is not the biggest name involved down there in South Florida, and we will see what police turn up in the report.”
“We got 25 names today, there are 175 more names coming,” Schefter later said. “Now some will just be regular people whose names we don’t know. But there could be other names that we do know, and that’s how it was explained to me.”
Schefter concluded by saying, “I was speaking and texting with someone who lives down there, and they told me it’s going to get a lot worse down there, that there will be other people involved, that everyone down there is very nervous right now, that there are people being arrested that are prominent members of society down there.”
While 25 people have been charged so far, including Kraft, law enforcement officials expect to charge approximately 100 men in the case, according to WPTV.
“Jupiter Police chief Daniel Kerr said Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution, and that a warrant for his arrest is with the state’s attorney’s office and will be sent to Kraft’s home in Massachusetts,” Deadspin reported.
A spokesperson for Kraft responded to the matter in 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.”
“The NFL owner was charged with paying for sexual services at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter,” TCPalm reported. “The spa was among 10 shut down in the Orlando area, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast after a several-month investigation revealed women there were in’sexual servitude,’ according to arrest records.”
“Mr. Kraft was said to have patronized a spa called Orchids of Asia in Jupiter, a small storefront business in a strip mall that also includes a nail salon, a surf shop and a Thai restaurant,” The New York Times reported. “The police said Mr. Kraft visited twice, dropped off by a driver. The mall, anchored on one end by an Outback Steakhouse, is near lushly landscaped gated communities — and less than five miles from Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.”
In a separate report, the TCPalm noted that the charges were the culmination 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.”
“These girls are there all day long, into the evening. They can’t leave and they’re performing sex acts,” Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey said. “Some of them may tell us they’re OK, but they’re not. We know that… even though we may have charges on some of them, we’d rather them be victims.”
“Some of them are trying to make a better life for themselves,” Currey continued. “These people truly are stuck.”