Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and Overwatch League team Boston Uprising, is one of more than two dozen charged Friday with soliciting prostitutes in connection with a sweeping nearly year-long investigation into human trafficking across South Florida, police said.
Kraft, 77, faces two counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution according to Jupiter police chief Daniel Kerr. Those charges arise out of two different visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida about a month ago. The sex acts were captured on surveillance video, according to Kerr. Kraft has not yet been arrested.
A spokesperson for Kraft denied the allegations. The NFL sent the following to Variety: “The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”
The charges come out of an eight-month investigation into five spas which investigators are now saying were run by two women as part of sexual trafficking operations. The women at the spa, many of which were from China, were sleeping on their massage tables, cooking on the back steps, and were not allowed to leave. They averaged eight clients a day, according to police, WPTV reports.
The crimes are considered a second-degree misdemeanor with up to 60 days in prison on a first offense. A second offense bumps it up to a first-degree misdemeanor with up to a year in prison.
Kraft was an instrumental player in the launch of Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League. His buy-in to the esports league helped convince others to invest in teams for the popular franchise. Kraft was among those quoted when the first wave of Overwatch League team owners were announced. At the time he said he had been exploring the esports market for several years and waiting for the right opportunity to enter.
“The incredible global success of ‘Overwatch’ since its launch, coupled with the league’s meticulous focus on a structure and strategy that clearly represents the future of esports made this the obvious entry point for the Kraft Group,” Kraft said in a statement at the time.