Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner, is being charged with soliciting prostitution arising out of an investigation into a massage parlor in Florida, the Jupiter Police Department confirmed at a press conference. Earlier multiple calls from the Big Lead to the police department inquiring into Mr. Kraft were not returned.
Earlier this week, the Martin County Sheriff’s Department announced the results of an eight-month investigation into sex trafficking at several massage parlors in the Treasure Coast area of Florida, including Orchids of Asia in Jupiter.
“Investigators uncovered about 100 ‘johns’, or end-users, who benefited from the ‘graphic sexual acts’ the trafficked women were forced to perform, according to [Martin County Sheriff William] Snyder.”
Kraft categorically denies engaging in any illegal activity.
Jupiter is near Palm Beach, where Robert Kraft has a home.
Charges were developed on 26 male customers specifically for paying for sex acts at Orchids of Asia, according to a story about the arrest of those running the operation on Wednesday. At the press conference, the Jupiter Police confirmed that Kraft and the other johns are facing misdemeanor charges, punishable by the statute. The police also confirmed that they have video of Kraft engaged in sex acts at the location, and that he was driven to Orchids of Asia by someone else.
In the Palm Beach Post story from Tuesday about the sexual trafficking investigation, it said this about what took place at the Orchids of Asia:
The sexual activity at the spa, sandwiched among a surf shop, a nail salon, a game room and a Thai restaurant, is believed to be tied to an international human-trafficking and prostitution ring. Under state and federal law, human trafficking is defined as soliciting, recruiting, harboring, transporting or otherwise obtaining another person to exploit him or her for labor, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation. Florida ranks third in the nation in the number of cases reported to the national human-trafficking hotline.
At a news conference Tuesday about the monthslong, multicounty investigation into the ring, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said many of the women came to the United States from China under the guise of having legitimate jobs in day spas and instead were forced to work in the sex trade and often being confined to the storefronts, eating and sleeping there when they were not working.
A Department of Health investigator noted that two rooms in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa had beds as well as dressers, as well as a kitchen, indicating that people lived there.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Kraft categorically denies illegal activity.