Robert Kraft Won't Go for Plea Deal: Source

New England Patriots owner said to be in negotiations with authorities
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2019 2:36 PM CDT
Robert Kraft Won't Go for Plea Deal: Source
In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, arrives at U.S. Bank Stadium before the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

It's far from confirmed, but CNN and the Boston Globe are both out with stories citing a source or sources who say New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will not accept the plea deal that's been offered to him in a Florida prostitution case. The Globe refers to "a Kraft ally" while CNN says it spoke to "a source familiar with the case"; it's not clear whether they are the one and the same. The Globe's source says Kraft believes the deal's condition that he admit he would have been found guilty of soliciting prostitution had his case gone to trial goes beyond what is routinely included in a "deferred prosecution" deal; the source says that typically, defendants are only asked to acknowledge there is enough evidence that a jury may have convicted.

The source says Kraft is steadfast in his refusal to admit participating in any criminal acts, and ESPN's TJ Quinn tweeted a similar sentiment Tuesday night: "The government wants Kraft to admit he would have been guilty of solicitation had the case proceeded. I’m told that’s a non-starter for him." The prosecutor's office has said if the deal is rejected, Kraft's case will proceed to a trial, but the source says Kraft's team is continuing to negotiate with authorities in the hopes of coming to another resolution. Kraft, 77, is scheduled to be arraigned March 28. Separately, his attorneys as well as attorneys for other defendants in the case filed a motion Wednesday seeking to ensure police surveillance video that allegedly shows them inside the massage parlor not be released publicly, TMZ reports. (Much more on the unsual plea deal here.)

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