New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged with Two Counts of Soliciting Prostitution

February 22, 2019, 5:45 PM UTC

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, has been charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in Florida.

Kraft, whose holdings also include Gillette Stadium, an eSports team, and International Forest Products, was charged by police in Jupiter, Fla. for paying for sexual services at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, one of 10 facilities that were recently shut down after an investigation found women were kept there in “sexual servitude.”

Women, largely from China, were not permitted to leave the spa, according to Martin County Sheriff Will Snyder. The acts, including Kraft’s, were recorded on surveillance video.

While he’s best known for his business dealings in Massachusetts, Kraft lives part time in Palm Beach County, which includes Jupiter. He has a net worth of $4.36 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

Kraft is among more than two dozen individuals being charged in the sting. He is not currently in custody, but police in Florida say an arrest warrant is being issued for him.

A spokesperson for Kraft, in a statement reported by the Associated Press, said they “categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”

Kraft has been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander since 2012. His wife, Myra, died in 2011.

The Patriots have not yet publicly commented on Kraft’s arrest, nor if or how it will affect his relationship with the team. Two years ago, however, Jerry Richardson, then-owner of the Charlotte Panthers, put the team up for sale when he was caught up in an NFL investigation of workplace misconduct. Hedge fund manager David Tepper bought the team the following year.

The Patriots, though, have played in 10 Super Bowls since Kraft bought the team, winning six, including this month.