Police announced Friday that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution at a spa in Jupiter, Florida.
Kraft, 77, was one of 25 people charged Friday in a wide-ranging investigation into human-trafficking across multiple Florida counties. Jupiter police chief Daniel Kerr said in a news conference that police have video evidence of Kraft engaging in sex acts on two separate visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa last month.
Here’s a quick rundown of the information that has been released by authorities, the initial reaction and what is expected to happen next with the Patriots owner.
What did Kraft do?
Andrew Sharp, the lead detective on the case, said Friday that Kraft was driven to the Jupiter spa on two occasions and received sex acts, which were captured by video inside the building. He declined to provide many other specifics.
Sharp indicated that Kraft paid for these acts but did not disclose how much Kraft paid, or his method of payment. He did say, however, that the “average fee” for the spa was $59 for 30 minutes and $79 for an hour.
When did Kraft allegedly solicit prostitutes?
When asked about specific dates regarding Kraft’s attendance at the spa, Kerr said he did not have the dates in front of him but they were “approximately a month ago, or so.”
The Patriots played playoff games against the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 13 and Jan. 20, respectively, before winning the Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams on Feb. 3.
What potential punishment does Kraft face?
Police have charged Kraft with “two counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution,” which is punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense and a first-degree misdemeanor for a subsequent offense.
A first offense carries a jail sentence of up to 60 days, and a second offense carries a sentence of up to one year.
Under Florida statutes, Kraft would also be required to perform 100 hours of community service and “pay for and attend an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking, such as a sexual violence prevention education program, including such programs offered by faith-based providers, if such programs exist in the judicial circuit in which the offender is sentenced.”
How big is this investigation?
The human trafficking investigation into Florida spas has been ongoing for at least four months and spans multiple jurisdictions along the Florida coast. The probe has resulted in roughly 300 arrest warrants so far across 10 spas in Florida.
The investigation into the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, which Kraft allegedly attended, began in October. Detectives learned that women, many of whom are from China, lived inside the spa and investigators found “evidence of bodily fluids on napkins” in trash cans on the premises, according to Treasure Coast Newspapers, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.
How are Kraft, the Patriots and the NFL responding?
Kraft responded to the charges in a brief statement through a spokesperson: “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
The Patriots and the NFL had not immediately replied to requests for comment from USA TODAY Sports as of early Friday afternoon.
What will happen next?
While a warrant has been issued for Kraft’s arrest, he had not been arrested as of early Friday. His attorneys will likely arrange a time for him to turn himself into authorities in the coming days.
Kraft will likely be eligible for bond and a court date will be scheduled after he surrenders.
Contributing: A.J. Perez and Lorenzo Reyes of USA TODAY Sports, Mary Helen Moore of Treasure Coast Newspapers
Contact Tom Schad at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.