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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft requests jury trial, pleads not guilty in Jupiter prostitution case

Posted at 3:35 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 19:28:00-04

JUPITER, Fla. — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is requesting a jury trial in connection with a major sex trafficking and prostitution investigation involving day spas across South Florida.

His attorneys filed a motion Tuesday in which Kraft waived his arraignment, pleaded not guilty to all charges, and requested a jury trial.

Kraft is facing charges of soliciting another to commit prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a $5,000 penalty, and a mandatory 100 hours of community service.

According to court documents, Kraft's arraignment, which was scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m., has been canceled.

In February, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder announced the results of an eight-month investigation, which uncovered sex trafficking operations at five day spas from Jupiter to Hobe Sound.

According to the Sheriff, the spas involved were:

  • Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter
  • Cove Day Spa in Stuart
  • Therapy Spa in Stuart
  • Bridge Day Spa in Hobe Sound
  • Sequoia Apple Day Spa in Hobe Sound

Jupiter police said Kraft visited Orchids of Asia Day Spa on Jan. 19 and 20. Both times, video surveillance captured a woman performing a sex act on Kraft and showed him paying in cash, according to police.

Kraft and his attorneys filed a motion asking a judge to block the release of that surveillance video.

Kraft released a statement earlier this month, which read in part:

"I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard. Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years."

A CNN source said Kraft will reject a plea deal that would've allowed him to avoid jail time if he admitted his guilt.

According to two sources, NFL owners will postpone any decision on whether to punish Kraft until his case is resolved.