Patriots Owner Pleads Not Guilty

Robert Kraft requests non-jury trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 28, 2019 4:03 PM CST
Patriots Owner Pleads Not Guilty
In this Sept. 23, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks on the sidelines before an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution in a Florida case, according to court documents released Thursday. Kraft's attorney Jack Goldberger filed the written plea with the Palm Beach County court on Wednesday, the AP reports. Kraft, 77, is requesting a non-jury trial. Kraft was among hundreds of men charged in a crackdown on massage parlor prostitution and an investigation into human trafficking at Florida spas. Ten spas have been closed and several people, mostly women originally from China, have been charged with running the operation.

Under Florida law, if Kraft is convicted, he would be required to complete 100 hours of community service, attend a class on the dangers of prostitution and its connection to human trafficking, and pay a $5,000 fine. He could also get a year in jail, although that is unlikely. He could also enroll in a diversion program. He would still have to perform the community service, attend the class, and pay a fine, but he would avoid a criminal record. (He allegedly visited the parlor hours before the AFC championship game.)

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