NEW YORK – An arrest warrant for Patriots owner Robert Kraft is expected Monday, which prompted the NFL to release an updated statement on the status of the pillar of the New England franchise.
Kraft is facing two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of a prostitute connected to a sting at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida.
“Our personal conduct policy applies to everyone in the NFL. We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under our policy. We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring that we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts,” read the NFL statement.
Kraft and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have had a frosty relationship at times, notably during the infamous Deflategate investigation that led to a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady, but they also powered the labor negotiations and CBA deal signed with players amid a lockout in 2011.
Kraft, 77, is alleged to have paid for sex at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, one of 10 massage parlors shut down in the region after a long investigation showed the women in the spas were sex servants, according to authorities. Kraft allegedly visited the spa on two occasions, according to law enforcement.
If convicted of the misdemeanor charges, he would face a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine as a first-time offender. He also could be subject to disciplinary action by the NFL.
Kraft, who also owns the New England Revolution MLS franchise, denied the accusations on Friday afternoon.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity,” a spokesman for Kraft said in a statement. “Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
The NFL also released a statement.
“The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments,” the league said Friday afternoon.
Authorities at a news conference on Friday said much of their evidence in the investigation comes from cameras worn on officers’ uniforms and from surveillance that was conducted via hidden cameras inside the day spa. The cameras captured the alleged sexual acts being committed inside the spa, including those involving Kraft.
“We’re as deeply stunned as anyone else,” Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said of Kraft’s alleged involvement.