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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft offered plea deal in Jupiter prostitution case

Posted at 1:28 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 11:20:57-04

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 in Jupiter.

In February, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg announced his office was charging New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and 24 other men with soliciting another to commit prostitution in relation to filing packets received from the Jupiter Police Department.

Jupiter police reports indicate Kraft, 77, visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter on Jan. 19 and 20. On the 19th, the transaction lasted approximately 40 minutes and on the 20th, about 14 minutes.

Kraft has entered a plea of not guilty and has requested a non-jury trial. His arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m Thursday, March 28. He is not expected to be in court.

Palm Beach County prosecutors declined to comment, the Wall Street Journal said.

According to a WPTV source with knowledge of the offer, the State Attorney’s Office issued a blanket deferred prosecution agreement Monday morning. The offer was to pay a $5,000 civil penalty, $200 cost towards the prosecution, take a prostitution awareness course that’s five hours long, 100 hours community service, and screening of sexually transmitted diseases.

That same source claimed, "all who accept the deal would have to appear at the same time to accept the agreement," adding that, in their opinion, this offer seemed “specifically, uniquely framed to gather all of these gentleman in one court, at the same time, same location, to maximize publicity” in the case.

A spokesperson for the State Attorney's Office disputes that, saying, "they don't have to appear at the same time or even on the same day. It's all standard stuff. It's the judge who sets up the defendants to appear on a certain date."

If Kraft refuses the deal, he would be put on trial and, if found guilty, face a possible year in jail, although that would be unlikely. He has pleaded not guilty.

After the Wall Street Journal posted the story on its website State Attorney Dave Aronberg tweeted a correction to the article.