Patriots owner Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with soliciting prostitution as part of a wide-ranging probe into a Florida massage parlour targeted in a human trafficking investigation, police said on Friday.

Kraft, 77, was one of 25 men charged after an investigation by police in Jupiter into the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

In a news conference in Florida, Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said: "Yes, he is one of the individuals, that would be Mr. Robert Kraft.

"He is being charged with the same offences as the others and that is soliciting another to commit prostitution."

Asked whether video evidence existed of the alleged acts, Kerr replied: "Yes, sir – for all of the individuals being charged."

A spokesperson for Kraft released a statement to media outlets disputing the charges. It read: "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."

Law enforcement officials told reporters Kraft faces two charges, but they would not disclose what services he paid for. Detective Andrew Sharp said at the news conference that the rate at the spa was $59 for 30 minutes or $79 for an hour. He added that another person drove Kraft to the parlour.

Earlier this week, multiple employees of the spa were arrested and charged with a variety of crimes as part of an investigation in massage parlours across Florida.

Like all NFL team personnel, owners are subject to the league's personal conduct policy, so Kraft could face a fine or other penalties from the league in connection with the case.

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