Olivia R. May 3, 2019
Boston Uprising's owner Robert Kraft is not getting special treatment in his sex solicitation case.
A Florida judge has ordered the billionaire to appear at a May 21 hearing that will conclude three days of deliberation over the admissibility of the videos that captured Kraft allegedly receiving sexual favors from sex trafficking victims at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
Spa videos spur further controversy
Kraft's arrest was part of a months-long investigation by the Martin County Sheriff's Department. The $20 million operation had the female victims living in the day spa, performing "forced graphic sexual acts" for Kraft and other clients, up to eight times per day.
The horrific nature of the situation caused Sheriff William D. Synder to call the men "monsters." He noted that the women were not "prostitutes," and this investigation had become a "rescue operation."
Once investigators were tipped off that spas across Florida were involved with human trafficking, police issued a fake bomb threat in order to obtain a warrant to install cameras. It was on these cameras that police saw the New England Patriots owner paying for sex with the vicims.
Kraft's lawyers argued that the tactic should be "reserved for extreme criminal cases" like terrorism, not "misdemeanor prostitution." His legal team also argued earlier this week that the video surveillance intruded on the privacy of innocent spa clients who were unaware of the sex ring.
Kraft's future unknown
Prosecutors have admitted that there is no case to pursue human trafficking charges, video or not. It was not apparant that Kraft, or the other 25 charged men, were aware that the prostitutes were indeed sex slaves.
But Kraft still faces two first-degree misdemeanor charges. These charges could land him up to one year in jail. Despite the video evidence - which has yet to be determined as admissible in court - Kraft has continued to plead not guilty. He has denied any criminal activity taking place, even though he was caught on camera on two occassions.
Kraft, as a first-time offender, will most likely not end up in jail. But he could face fines up to $5,000 and be required to complete 100 hours of community service. Another major consequence of the case revolves around his ownership of the New England Patriots.
Even though the Patriots have continued to deny that Kraft was engaged in illegal activity, the issue goes against the league's current goals of shaking a negative image involving the mistreatment of women.
The numbers of suspensions and fines have risen for NFL players surrounding this issue. But it's yet to be determined if an owner like Kraft will face any consequences outside of what the court may hand him.