Robert Kraft issued an apology over the weekend for his alleged involvement in a sex traffic sting in Florida, but the New England Patriots owner is choosing not to admit guilt from a legal standpoint.
On Tuesday, Kraft waived an upcoming arraignment that was scheduled for later this week and officially entered a not guilty plea. He had previously pleaded not guilty to two charges of solicitation of prostitution and requested a non-jury trial, but the 77-year-old is now asking for a trial by jury.
From Palm Beach County court records: Robert Kraft waives his arraignment, pleads not guilty to all charges, and requests a jury trial. pic.twitter.com/nMhKztCodd
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) March 26, 2019
Kraft denied engaging in any illegal activity after an arrest warrant was first issued for him in the case, despite authorities saying they have clear video evidence of him engaging in sex acts at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. Prosecutors recently offered him a plea deal that would have required him to admit guilt in exchange for having the charges dropped, but Kraft and the other defendants in the case turned it down.
While his reputation has already taken a hit, the charges against Kraft came as part of an investigation into sex trafficking. All indications at this point have been that he had nothing to do with that aspect of the case, so it appears he is counting on his powerful legal team to fight the charges and win.
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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has spoken publicly for the first time since his alleged involvement in a sex trafficking scandal came to light.
Kraft kept it vague and did not explicitly admit to any wrongdoing, but apologized for hurt and disappointment he’d caused, and vowed to prove himself capable of doing better through his actions.
Statement from Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft: pic.twitter.com/GiswaNQxh4
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2019
Kraft’s statement doesn’t really address the legal jeopardy he’s still in. He is still refusing to admit any guilt, perhaps in part because he wants to do everything he can to keep NFL-imposed discipline against himself or his organization to a minimum. In fact, his attorneys are currently trying a new approach in an effort to get the charges against him thrown out.
The attorney for Robert Kraft has gone on the offensive.
Kraft’s attorney issued a statement on Friday in which he said the evidence against his client was obtained illegally.
“There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it. The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn’t want to admit it. The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained,” attorney William Burck told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two charges of solicitation of prostitution after he was recorded participating in sex acts at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida back in January. The New England Patriots owner will not accept any plea deal that involves him admitting any guilt.
The video was obtained and arrests made as part of a sting operation regarding sex trafficking. Kraft’s attorney issued his statement the same day a sheriff involved in the case said he expects the video evidence to eventually be made public. Kraft’s legal team is fighting to have the video kept private.
Robert Kraft and other defendants who were charged as part of a prostitution sting in Florida were offered a deal this week that would allow them to avoid being prosecuted, but the New England Patriots owner is reportedly not planning to accept it.
According to Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal, prosecutors offered to drop the charges against Kraft and the other defendants in the case if they admit guilt and meet some other conditions. A source told CNN on Wednesday that Kraft is not taking the deal.
A source familiar with the case tells CNN’s @jasoncarrollcnn & Kevin Conlon that New England @Patriots owner Robert Kraft will not accept the plea deal offered by Florida prosecutors in the Orchids of Asia day spa case.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 20, 2019
Kraft has already pleaded not guilty to two charges of solicitation of prostitution. An admission of guilt would almost certainly result in the NFL taking disciplinary action against the 77-year-old, but that seems likely to happen regardless of how the case turns out.
While Kraft’s reputation has already taken a hit, his arrest came as part of an investigation into sex trafficking. All indications at this point have been that he had nothing to do with that aspect of the case, so he may feel his powerful legal team can fight the charges and win. Prosecutors say they have strong video evidence that will be difficult to dispute, but Kraft’s lawyers will likely look to exploit any loophole or procedural error they can in an attempt to have the charges thrown out.
Robert Kraft and several other men who were involved in a prostitution sting in Florida last month have reportedly been offered a deal that would allow them to avoid being prosecuted.
According to a report from Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal, Florida prosecutors have offered to drop the charges against Kraft and other defendants in the case if they admit guilt. The defendants would have to meet a number of conditions.
“The proposed deferred prosecution agreement calls for completion of an education course about prostitution, completion of 100 hours of community service, screening for sexually transmitted diseases and payment of some court costs,” the Journal reported.
Kraft has already pleaded not guilty to two charges of solicitation of prostitution, but that was expected from a procedural standpoint. He now has to decide if admitting wrongdoing is worth the guarantee of not having convictions on his record, though the admission would almost certainly result in the NFL taking disciplinary action against the New England Patriots owner.
While Kraft’s reputation has already taken a hit, his arrest came as part of an investigation into sex trafficking. All indications at this point have been that he had nothing to do with that aspect of the case, so the 77-year-old may feel his powerful legal team can fight the charges and win. Prosecutors reportedly have video footage that shows him receiving illegal sex acts at a spa in Jupiter, Fla., but an attorney is trying to block that footage from being released.
Police say they have video evidence that clearly shows Robert Kraft engaging in illegal sexual activity at a massage parlor in Florida, but the New England Patriots owner is claiming he is innocent.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution. The plea comes after he already publicly denied engaging in any illegal activity through a spokesperson.
The approach from Kraft is likely more about legal strategy than anything. Investigators have footage that they claim shows Kraft paying for and receiving sex acts at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., and an attorney has filed a motion to block that video from being released to the public.
While Kraft’s reputation has already taken a hit, his arrest came as part of an investigation into sex trafficking. All indications at this point have been that he had nothing to do with that aspect of the case, so it would be a surprise if the 77-year-old faced serious legal consequences. The same might not be said for how the NFL plans to discipline him.
It may be a while before a resolution is reached in the case involving Robert Kraft and several other individuals who were charged with solicitation of prostitution in Florida, but the NFL does not have to wait for the legal process to play out before taking disciplinary action. According to one report, the league could come down hard on Kraft to send a message to other teams and owners.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman ran through a number of possible outcomes for Kraft, and the “general consensus” he gathered from speaking with league sources is that Kraft’s punishment could be severe. Part of that has to do with the NFL not wanting to look like it went easy on arguably the league’s most powerful team owner, and the Personal Conduct Policy also states that owners will be held to an even higher standard than players.
“Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard, and will be subject to more significant discipline when violations of the Personal Conduct Policy occur,” a portion of the policy reads.
The last time a team owner faced disciplinary action from the NFL was in 2014, when Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested for driving while intoxicated and four counts of possession of a controlled substance. He pleaded guilty and was fined $500,000 and suspended for six months by the NFL.
Kraft initially denied through a spokesperson that he engaged in any illegal activity, but there is video footage that allegedly shows very clearly that he engaged in illegal sexual activity at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla.
Freeman added that there’s also a chance Kraft could just be fined and not suspended, and the odds of that would increase if the 77-year-old can continue to distance himself from the sex trafficking aspect of the investigation. Some also wonder if Kraft could be so embarrassed that he steps away from the Patriots and turns over day-to-day operations to his son Jonathan, but that would be very surprising.