New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in connection with a Florida spa, Jupiter Police said Feb. 22, 2019.
Hannah Schwab, email@example.com
JUPITER — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in connection with a Florida spa tied to an international human trafficking ring, police said Friday.
The NFL owner was charged with paying for sexual services at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter.
The spa was among 10 shut down in the Orlando area, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast after a several-month investigation revealed women there were in “sexual servitude,” according to arrest records.
A detective said the acts were captured on surveillance video.
Kraft, 77, has not yet been arrested on the misdemeanor charges, according to the Jupiter Police Department.
“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.”
Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994 for $172 million. He is the head of the Kraft Group, a holding company with investments in a number of industries, including sports and real estate. He is worth an estimated $6.6 billion, according to Forbes.com.
Kraft is a longtime seasonal resident of Palm Beach County, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.
Under Kraft’s ownership, the Patriots have played in 10 Super Bowls and have won a record-tying six Super Bowl championships.
An investigation into the spa, which opened in 2012, began in October.
Surveillance revealed a steady stream of male clients at the nondescript business in a Jupiter strip center between 9 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. They would stay for 30 minutes to an hour, arrest records show.
Women, many of them from China, lived inside and were not permitted to leave, detectives learned.
Police found napkins coated in seminal fluid in a trash receptacle outside the spa on more than one occasion. Condoms were rarely used, according to arrest warrants.
The owner of that spa, Hua Zhang, 58, of Winter Garden, was arrested and charged with deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, keeping and frequenting a house of prostitution and 26 counts of procuring for prostitution.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder believe women in the spas were supplied by human traffickers with ties to China and New York.
Millions began to be seized and about 300 arrest warrants were issued this week in connection with the 10 spas:
- Cove Day Spa: 6136 S.E. U.S.1, Stuart
- Therapy Spa: 2836 S.E. U.S. 1, Stuart
- Bridge Day Spa: 11774 S.E. U.S. 1, Hobe Sound
- Orchids of Asia Day Spa: 103 U.S. 1, Jupiter
- Sequoia Apple Day Spa: 10447 S.E. U.S. 1, Hobe Sound
- East Spa: 2345 14th Ave., Suite 10, Vero Beach
- AA Massage: 1547 U.S. 1, Sebastian
- East Sea Spa: 13401 U.S. 1, Sebastian
- East Spa: 1410A Gene St., Winter Park
- Rainbow Spa: 1809-2 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando
Staff writer Eric Rogers contributed to this report.
Need help? See something?
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is confidential, toll-free and available 24/7 in more than 200 languages.
Read or Share this story: https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/2019/02/22/new-england-patriots-owner-robert-kraft-charged-soliciting-prostitution-florida-spa/2939429002/