New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made his first statement since being charged in February as part of a monthslong human trafficking investigation relating to a Jupiter, Florida, massage parlor.
Kraft, 77, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of solicitation at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Kraft is not alleged to be involved in human trafficking.
“I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard," Kraft said in his statement released on Saturday.
Kraft said his "morals" and "soul" were shaped by his late wife Myra, who died of cancer in 2011.
“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women," he said.
Earlier this week, NBC News reported Kraft was among 25 defendants in the case who were offered a pretrial deal as part of a deferred prosecution program sometimes offered to first-time offenders who concede the state would have been able to prove their guilt.
It was not immediately clear if Kraft planned to take the deal.
Kraft and the others charged with solicitation in the Orchids of Asia probe would have their charges dropped in exchange for their conceding that they would have been found guilty, completing 100 hours of community service per charge, taking an education course on prostitution, undergoing a screening for sexually transmitted diseases, and paying $5,000 per charge.
Each defendant would also have to provide a statement detailing what happened in the Orchids of Asia massage parlor room.
“As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference," Kraft said. "I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect.”
Kraft is the only defendant charged with two counts of soliciting. All other defendants in the Orchids of Asia investigation were charged with one count of soliciting.
The billionaire allegedly visited the spa twice in January, once on the 19th and again on the morning of the 20th and investigators say he was seen on surveillance video with a spa worker on both days.
On his Jan. 20 visit, investigators say Kraft was seen on surveillance video paying cash "at the front desk to an Asian female," one of the affidavits release last month said. He was then escorted into a room where authorities said the sexual activity took place.