New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft has been charged with soliciting prostutition from a day spa, which was part of a multi-week investigation into sex trafficking in Florida.
Just weeks after the Patriots won its sixth Super Bowl Championship in the Tom Brady era, owner Robert Kraft, 77, is in legal trouble. Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr announced charges against Kraft at a news conference Friday morning, where he says that Kraft visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida–a massage parlor–twice during its investigation window.
It’s important to note that Robert Kraft has not been accused or charged with involvement in human trafficking, and has been charged only with solicitation to commit prostitution. However, reports paint a picture of horrific conditions the workers experienced.
Perry Russom of Boston’s NBC10 Tweeted, “Martin County Sherriff says the women involved in human trafficking ring were given no days off. They averaged about 1,500 men a year. He says their hygiene was ‘minimal’ at best.” As for Robert Kraft’s involvement, Russom said, “Police say they have video of Kraft participating in the act. Police say he was driven to the parlor. Police say they’re stunned like everyone else.”
According to reports, the investigation into human trafficking in Florida lasted several weeks and wasn’t limited to one massage parlor, but a sweeping investigation throughout the State with multiple agencies involved.
The Polaris Project notes that human trafficking is a “multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world.” Polaris looked at more than 32,000 cases of human trafficking between 2007 and 2016, which was the largest set of data ever compiled and analyzed in the United States. The survey identified 25 types of human trafficking in the United States, with “Illicit Massage, Health & Beauty” as one of its categories. According to the website, there are “at least 7,000 storefronts in the United States, and possibly more.”
Robert Kraft is one of several hundred charged in the operation for solicitation.
The penalties in Florida for prostitution offenses increase when the defendant has prior convictions for prostitution. Initial offenses can be classified as a second-degree misdemeanor which can carry a 60-day prison sentence and a fine up to $500. Secondary offenses carry a first-degree misdemeanor charge with 12-months imprisonment and fines up to $1,000.