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Robert Kraft and others could have prostitution charges dropped — but there’s a catch

Robert Kraft and others could have prostitution charges dropped — but there’s a catch
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

Florida prosecutors have offered a plea deal to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other men charged with paying for illicit sex at a massage parlor.

The Palm Beach state attorney's office confirmed Tuesday it had offered Kraft and 24 other men charged with soliciting prostitution the standard diversion program offered to first-time offenders. The men must concede they would be found guilty, perform 100 hours community service, attend a class on the dangers of prostitution and pay $5,000 per count, spokesman Mike Edmondson said. Kraft was charged with two counts last month.

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In return, the charges of misdemeanor soliciting prostitution would be dropped. Edmondson said, so far, none had accepted.

Kraft's attorney Jack Goldberger did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Patriots spokesman Stacey James said the team would have no comment.

About 300 men have been charged and 10 massage parlors closed in multiple counties between Palm Beach and Orlando as part of a crackdown on illicit massage parlors and human trafficking. Several operators and employees also have been charged.

Police said Kraft visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., twice in late January just before he flew to Kansas City to see the Patriots defeat the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.

According to police records, the 77-year-old Kraft was chauffeured to the massage parlor in a 2014 white Bentley on the evening of Jan. 19, where officers said they secretly videotaped him engaging in a sex act and then handing over an undetermined amount of cash.

Investigators said Kraft returned 17 hours later, arriving at the upper-middle-class shopping center where the spa was located in a chauffeured 2015 blue Bentley. Kraft, who is worth $6 billion, was videotaped engaging in sex acts before paying with a $100 bill and another bill, police said. Hours later, he was in Kansas City for the game. His team then won the Super Bowl in Atlanta, the Patriots' sixth NFL championship under his ownership.

Kraft has denied wrongdoing. The NFL has not taken any action against him but has said its personal conduct policy “applies equally to everyone in the NFL” and it will handle “this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under the policy.”

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