New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged in Jupiter, Fla., on two counts of soliciting another for prostitution, according to Jupiter police chief Daniel Kerr.
A warrant will be issued for Kraft's arrest Monday containing secondary mismeanor charges with a maximum jail sentence of 60 days for each charge, the Palm Beach County state attorney's office told NFL Network.
Kraft, one of the more successful owners in NFL history, was part of a months-long human-trafficking and prostitution sting involving a number of Florida massage parlors, including one in Jupiter, where Kraft allegedly solicited a prostitute "on at least two separate occasions roughly a month ago," according to TMZ.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity," a spokesperson for Kraft said in a release obtained by CNN. "Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
The NFL released its own statement Friday afternoon: “The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments."
Kraft, 77, is among hundreds of suspected "Johns," according to TMZ, who allegedly paid between $59-$79 an hour for prostitutes. The women involved in the trafficking ring, many of whom came from China and were held against their will, were given no days off and averaged seeing about 1,500 men annually, according to NBC10 in Boston.
Kerr said that evidence against Kraft, who allegedly was driven to the parlor and visited twice during the sting operation, includes video surveillance of the owner involved in sex acts. Kraft said that police have video evidence of every person facing charges.
A report from ESPN's Adam Schefter indicates that Kraft is "not the biggest name" associated with the prostitution and solicitation sting and his sources in Florida expect the story to continue escalating.
Kraft, whose Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII last month, has overseen the greatest dynasty in professional sports over the past two decades, when New England has won six Super Bowls and 10 division crowns. He purchased the Patriots for $172 million in 1994 and has a current estimated worth of $6.6 billion.
Kraft, a member of the owner's committee formed in 2016 comprised of several of commissioner Roger Goodell's closest advisors, including Pittsburgh's Art Rooney II and the New York Giants' John Mara, undoubtedly is among the NFL's most powerful owners, but he still is subject to discipline under the NFL's personal-conduct policy.
In 2014, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was suspended six games and fined $500,000 following his guilty plea to a misdemeanor DWI charge. The NFL's policy reads, "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 the Personal Conduct Policy occur.”
Kraft previously was involved in several high-profile battles with Goodell — at one time a close ally — including in 2007, when he was fined $250,000 for "Spygate," and in 2017, when the team was fined $1 million and docked a first-round draft pick for its alleged involvement in "Deflategate."