Prosecutors Make an Offer to Patriots Owner

Charges in prostitution case could be dropped, but there's a catch
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2019 6:28 PM CDT
Prosecutors Make an Offer to Robert Kraft
In this Jan. 20, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks on the field before the AFC Championship NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft could see his charges dropped—as long as he admits that he would have been found guilty, had the case gone to trial. The proposed deferred prosecution agreement also calls for Kraft and a number of other men who have been charged with soliciting prostitution in Florida to take an educational course about the dangers of prostitution, do 100 hours of community service, get screened for sexually transmitted diseases, and pay $5,000 per count in court costs. The Wall Street Journal calls the final condition, in which the defendants must review evidence and agree that the state would be able to prove their guilt, "unusual," but the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office tells the AP and the Bradenton Herald the plea deal being offered to defendants is the standard pre-trial diversion program offered to first-time offenders.

It's not clear whether Kraft or the other defendants will agree to the deal; thus far, Kraft's spokesperson has denied any illegal activity on the part of the football team owner, and Kraft pleaded not guilty to the two misdemeanor counts. Kraft, 77, is accused of visiting a Jupiter, Fla., massage parlor and receiving sex acts on two occasions. The Jupiter Police Department and prosecutors say the probe was necessary to put a halt to a growing human trafficking and sex slavery problem, but no one has been charged with human trafficking in the case, and legal experts have said there could be issues with some of the police tactics used. Ten spas closed as a result of the probe, and employees were also charged. None of the 25 men offered the deal have yet accepted. It's not yet clear what disciplinary action the NFL might take with regard to the allegations. (Kraft allegedly visited the parlor hours before attending the AFC championship game.)

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