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Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution

Police say Kraft is facing misdemeanor charges on two counts, and it seemed like he was "regular" at the spa.
Image: Robert Kraft
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft during pregame of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 23, 2018, in Detroit.Carlos Osorio / AP

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, has been charged with soliciting prostitution, Florida police said Friday.

Kraft was one of at least 25 people arrested Friday as part of a months-long human trafficking investigation that police say spanned from China to Florida, Jupiter officials said.

Police say Kraft is facing misdemeanor charges on two counts of solicitation at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter. Kraft is not charged with human trafficking.

Calls to the spa by NBC News were directed straight to a voicemail box that was full.

“We’re as equally stunned as everybody else,” Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said.

Although police can't speak to the amount of time Kraft was at the spa, they said average fees for services range between $59 for a half-hour and $79 for an hour.

When asked if Kraft seemed like a “regular” at the spa, Jupiter Detective Andrew Sharp said, “I would say going through the evidence, yes.”

The Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter was one of multiple day spas involved in the investigation, officials said.

According to a Palm Beach County affidavit, online reviews of the spa used various slang terms that identified that the business provided sexual services. Lei Wang was arrested for her connection to the spa according to the affidavit.

Jupiter police added there is video evidence of the alleged acts for all individuals involved, including Kraft.

"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further,” a spokesperson for Kraft said in a statement.

The NFL responded to the news, saying that the league "is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments."

Kerr said because Kraft is an resident of Massachusetts, “there would be an arrest warrant issued.” The warrant is currently being processed with the state attorney, he explained.

Kraft, 77, the CEO and chairman of the The Kraft Group, currently ranks 79th on the Forbes list, and is reportedly worth 6.6 billion.

Kraft, one of the most prominent owners in the NFL, started his career at his father-in law’s packaging company, which he later bought out. He went on to found a successful paper commodities business, and has owned the Patriots, who just won a sixth Super Bowl title earlier this month, for more than two decades.

In 1998, Kraft founded founded The Kraft Group, with also owns Gillette Stadium, and the New England Revolutions soccer team.

Kraft's wife, Myra Nathalie Hiatt, who he married in 1963, died in 2011.