After being accused of soliciting prostitution in February, Boston Uprising owner Robert Kraft’s arraignment will be on March 28. The date was moved a few days back so as not to interfere with the NFL’s annual owners’ meetings.
That doesn’t seem to be the only form of leniency for Kraft going into the arraignment. While court papers state that the defendant must be present at the hearing, Kraft announced that he will not be at court that day. Instead, lawyers will be at the hearing to represent him.
Facing Jail Time
Kraft is currently facing two first-degree misdemeanor charges which could land him up to one year in jail. Despite police having evidence of Kraft paying prostitutes for sex acts in two different instances, the millionaire has pleaded not guilty. He denies any criminal activity took place.
Boston Uprising’s owner was one of 20 men charged with soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft was one of the bigger names uncovered in the six-month human trafficking investigation that took place throughout the state.
Prosecutors stated that Kraft and other men implicated had no knowledge that the women were not just prostitutes, but also victims of human trafficking. Despite this, the severity of the charges were still increased from second-degre to first-degree misdemeanors.
The prosecutors noted that first-time offenders are unlikely to face jail time, but if Kraft is convicted he could face fines up to $5,000 and would be required to complete 100 hours of community service.
The months-long investigation that revealed video evidence of Kraft soliciting the prostitutes for “forced graphic sexual acts” was part of a long investigation by the Martin County Sheriff’s Department.
A health inspector had visited a massage parlor in Florida, where a few suitcases and some bedding had made her suspicious. It was soon revealed that the massage therapists were actually victims of human sex trafficking, living in the day spa and servicing up to eight clients per day. It was a $20 million international operation.
“I would never consider them prostitutes. It was really a rescue operation. The monsters are the men,” said Sheriff William D. Snyder.