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JUPITER (CBSMiami) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with two counts of soliciting someone to commit prostitution in Palm Beach County, and police say they have videotape of him paying for the sex acts inside an illicit massage parlor.
The charges stem from a months long investigation into the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, where two women were arrested earlier this week, according to police.
The women have been identified as Lei Wang, 40, and Hua Zhang, 59. They are charged with deriving support from prostitution, maintaining a house for prostitution, and offering to commit prostitution.
The incidents are part of a larger crackdown on human trafficking and prostitution at several spas in the West Palm Beach area, Martin County and Orange County.
“We’re as equally stunned as anyone else,” said Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr during a Friday morning news conference in reference to Kraft.
Police also confirmed they have video evidence allegedly capturing the sex acts.
Police said they secretly planted undercover cameras in targeted massage parlors and recorded the interactions between men and the female employees.
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Kraft’s name is on a list of 25 people who will face charges in connection to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Kraft said they “categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Robert Kraft is not the biggest name involved in the incident.
“I’m also told that Robert Kraft is not the biggest name involved down there in South Florida,” Schefter said.
KRAFT ACCUSED OF JOINING LIST OF MISBEHAVING OWNERS:
Police say Kraft was driven to the spa by a chauffeur.
The average cost per visit for services is $59 or $79 per hour, according to police.
Once the arrest warrant is issued, Kraft will get a summons in the mail ordering him to turn himself in. He is not expected to be arrested. Kraft’s lawyers will likely contact the county attorney and make arrangements for Kraft to come to court in Florida and turn himself in, according to WBZ-TV, our sister station in Boston.
Kraft, who has a home on Palm Beach, could face up to a year in jail, probation or fines. He could also face discipline from the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy.
REPORT FROM MASSACHUSETTS:
The NFL did not immediately respond to a message Friday seeking comment. Under league policy, players, owners, coaches and other employees can be punished for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL.
“Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline when violations of Personal Conduct Policy occur,” the policy says.
Kraft, 77, has owned the Patriots for 25 years. The Patriots have won six Super Bowls during that time, most recently Super Bowl LIII earlier this month in Atlanta.
Kraft also is CEO of The Kraft Group, a holding company of numerous family businesses including Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution, as well as International Forest Products.
Kraft lives in Massachusetts and has a home in the Palm Beach area. He is a frequent guest of President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club.
He has four sons. His wife Myra died in 2011. He has been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander since 2012.
The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, which would prosecute the case, had no comment.