Patriots' Robert Kraft Apologizes in 1st Statement Since Solicitation Charges

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2019

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks on the field before an NFL football game between the Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft released his first public statement Saturday since being charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution.

ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted the statement:

Kraft was charged with two misdemeanor solicitation counts after police said he was caught on camera paying for and receiving sexual acts at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, on consecutive days in January.

Kraft's only initial statement after the charges came through his spokesperson, who said they "categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity."

On Tuesday, Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors offered to drop the charges against Kraft and others accused of solicitation in exchange for admissions the verdicts would have been guilty had the cases gone to trial.

As part of the deal, Kraft would reportedly have to complete an education course about prostitution, 100 hours of community service and undergo screening for sexually transmitted diseases.

Per Ken Belson of the New York Times, Kraft and his legal team declined the deal.

Kraft's legal team has attempted to block videos and other evidence in the case from being made public, but their motion was denied. According to Emily Smith of the New York Post, Kraft's lead attorney, William Burck, said he was "surprised and disappointed" by the decision.

Burck also commented on the case to ESPN, per Schefter"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."

The 77-year-old Kraft allegedly visited the spa on the morning of New England's AFC Championship Game win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Two weeks later, the Pats went on to beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Kraft, who has won six Super Bowls during his tenure as the Patriots' owner, could face discipline from the NFL in relation to the allegations.

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