Kraft, 77, will be charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution, both first-degree misdemeanors.
If found guilty, Kraft and 24 other men caught up in the Jupiter police sting could face one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of mandatory community service that includes a class on the negative impact of prostitution and human trafficking.
The charges come amid a multi-agency crackdown on human trafficking involving 10 massages parlor from Jupiter to Vero Beach, resulting in charges against hundreds of people. But Kraft, a billionaire who lives in Massachusetts and has a home in Palm Beach, is likely the biggest fish caught up in the sting.
Kraft denies the allegations. He has already received a copy of the court summons through his attorney, Aronberg said.
Despite his fame, Kraft will not get special treatment, Aronberg promised.
“Our office treats all defendants the same and no one gets any special justice in Palm Beach County,” he said.
Kraft visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa off U.S. 1 on Jan. 19 and again on Jan. 20, police records show. Both visits were captured by hidden cameras set up as part of the law enforcement investigation.
On Jan. 19, Kraft received an afternoon massage from two women who fondled his genitals, then wiped him with a white towel and helped him dress. He left in a Bentley.
He returned the next day, walking through the door at 10:59 a.m. This time, one woman spent several minutes manipulating his genitals. He paid her with a $100 bill and was out the door by 11:13 a.m. Later that day, he was in Kansas City for the AFC Championship game.
“The documents speak for themselves,” Aronberg said Monday. “Video evidence is always very powerful in a court of law.”
Accused of owning or managing the Jupiter massage parlor were two women, Hua Zhang, 59, of Winter Garden, and Lei Wang, 40, for whom no address was given. Police say it appears the women who worked for them were forced to live onsite.
Aronberg says his office expects to also file formal charges soon against Zhang and Wang. Both women have been arrested by Jupiter police and stand accused of deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, a second-degree felony.
The state attorney referred to human trafficking as “modern-day slavery in our midst” that extend beyond stories about lonely old men.
“The larger picture, which we must all confront, is the cold reality that many prostitutes in cases like this are victims, often lured into this country with promises of a better life, only to be forced to live and work in a sweatshop or a brothel, performing sex acts for strangers,” Aronberg said.
Aronberg said he was not surprised that someone rich and famous was among the men being charged in the prostitution case — though none are being charged with human trafficking.
“It’s just a reality of the time we live in,” he said. “Defendants in this case come from all walks of life. There’s rich, poor. There’s young and old.”
Those who are first-time offenders are not likely to be sentenced to a full year in jail, Aronberg said.
“Just because the penalty is a year in jail doesn’t mean they’ll get that,” he said. “That’s up to the judge. The judge imposes the sentence.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.