New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged in connection with a prostitution sting in FloridaThe charge follows a series of raids involving at least eight massage parlors on the east coast of Florida.
In a statement, officials with the NFL said the league was “aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments,” according to NFL.com.
On Tuesday, police announced the arrest of two women on prostitution, racketeering and money laundering charges and said nearly 200 others would be arrested on solicitation charges. Police in Vero Beach announced the arrest of eight other suspects linked to three massage parlors, plus nearly 200 men who solicited prostitution.
Police confirmed Friday that Kraft was involved in the bust. Authorities said surveillance camera footage showed him inside one of the spas.
“He was a regular,” police said.
Authorities in Jupiter said they filed a complaint against Kraft, who has been charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution. The charge is a misdemeanor.
Kraft, 77, denied the veracity of the charges in a statement released Friday.
Police said the state attorney in Palm Beach County is handling the case.
Kraft has a long history in Foxborough and New England starting back in 1965, when he graduated from Harvard Business School. Kraft took ownership of the Patriots in 1994 after being a season ticket owner for 23 years. The day he bought the team, he said his objective was to bring a championship to New England.
In the five years before he bought the team, the Patriots had won fewer than 25 percent of their games. In February 2002, the Patriots won their first Super Bowl.
Later that year, Gillette Stadium opened to replace the Foxborough stadium. Gillette was privately funded by Kraft and remains one of the few sports stadiums in the country that didn’t rely on public money.
One year after buying the Patriots, Kraft became one of the founders of Major League Soccer when he established the New England Revolution.
In 1998, the Kraft Group was founded, a group of companies including those in the paper and packaging, sports and entertainment, construction and real estate and philanthropy industries. According to the company’s website, they employ nearly 10,000 people worldwide.
Kraft lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, and also owns a home in Palm Beach, Florida.