Days after Robert Kraft reportedly rejected a plea deal stemming from his charges of soliciting prostitution, the New England Patriots’ billionaire owner issued his first statement related to the charges Saturday.
“In deference to the judicial process, I have remained silent these past several weeks,” Kraft said. “To correct some of the misinformation surrounding this matter, my attorney made his first public comments on Friday night. I would like to use this opportunity to say something that I have wanted to say for four weeks.
Kraft continued, “I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard.”
Kraft was one of over 100 people charged as part of an anti-sex trafficking investigation into a string of massage parlors in Florida; the 77-year-old Patriots owner was accused of twice visiting Jupiter, Florida’s Orchids of Asia Day Spa on January 19th and 20th, just hours before the Patriots’ AFC Championship game.
Through his lawyer, Kraft pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanors; earlier this week, he rejected a plea deal where prosecutors said they would drop all charges in exchange for his participation in a diversion program, 100 hours of community service, undergo mandatory STI screening and take a course on the dangers of soliciting sex. If found guilty at trial, Kraft could face a maximum of one year in prison. Kraft’s next court date is March 28th, one day after the annual NFL owners’ meeting in Phoenix, ESPN reports.
“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being,” Kraft continued in his statement Saturday, a day after prosecutors denied an effort by Kraft’s lawyers to keep “sexual and graphic” video of Kraft at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa from going public.
“As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect.”