AP NEWS

Officials: Kraft Visited Parlor on Day of AFC Game

February 26, 2019
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, right, arrives on the field before the AFC Championship NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots, in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 20. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Sean Philip Cotter

Boston Herald

JUPITER, FLA -- New tawdry details released by Palm Beach County’s top prosecutor allege Patriots owner Robert Kraft bought sex acts shortly before jetting off to the AFC Championship game -- hugging and tipping the woman on the way out after the 14-minute stop.

Jupiter, Fla., police say they have video evidence that Kraft pulled up in a blue Bentley to patronize the Orchids of Asia Day Spa on Jan. 20 at 10:59 a.m., according to a police affidavit released Monday.

That morning -- just under eight hours before his Patriots were due to play the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC Championship -- Kraft stopped by in a blue baseball cap, greeting the woman inside with a hug, police say. Video then shows Kraft spending the next 14 minutes there as the woman performed a sex act, according to the police. He then hugged her and paid her $100 before leaving, police say.

The previous day at 4:45 p.m., Kraft spent 40 minutes there, and paid for and received a sex act, after which he hugged the women there and left, police say. Cops pulled him over in a traffic stop shortly after -- in a different Bentley, this one white -- and identified him via his license, the affidavit states.

Kraft is one of 25 men nabbed on solicitation charges following a monthslong investigation into Orchids of Asia. The police began eyeing the place in October, and set up video inside on Jan. 17, according to documents.

Kraft’s alleged Sunday morning liaison came on the day his Patriots beat the Chiefs in a championship game. When reporters Monday asked Florida State Attorney Dave Aronberg about whether the date was correct, the prosecutor said, “The documents speak for themselves.”

Then when asked about Pats fans’ swirling conspiracy theories, some of which suggest Kraft was set up in the sting, Aronberg countered with, “I don’t understand how someone could be targeted.”

Kraft, 77, will have a court appearance scheduled for two misdemeanor counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution -- charges that if he were to be convicted could include jail time and a fine, and would include a mandatory 100 hours of community service and an educational program on the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking.

Aronberg said Kraft will not have to appear himself in court, and will remain free until then, as is normal for a summons.

A Kraft spokesman said Friday, “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.” His Palm Beach attorney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Aronberg tried to turn the press conference away from Kraft and toward the issue of human trafficking in general, an issue he called “modern day slavery.”

“It is also fueled by the demand side, fueled by demand from otherwise law-abiding citizens who aren’t aware or don’t want to be aware of people being exploited,” Aronberg said. He added, “This is not about lonely old men or victimless crimes.”

“This country needs to have a reality check about what’s going on out there,” Aronberg said.

The prosecutor said two women in charge of the ring at Orchids of Asia face felony charges of human trafficking, an act that “is the business of stealing someone’s freedom for profit.”