New England Patriots football team owner Robert Kraft and other men are being offered a chance to have their solicitation-of-prostitution charges dropped as part of plea deal, the Palm Beach County prosecutor’s office confirmed Tuesday.
The offer was extended not just to the billionaire, but to the other 24 men facing misdemeanor charges after Jupiter police said they were caught on camera soliciting sex at an illicit massage parlor.
The men have been offered to get their charges dropped in exchange for pretrial diversion, or “a series of conditions a defendant has to meet within a certain time period,” said Michael Edmondson, spokesman for the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office.
Edmondson said the offer was “not unusual,” calling it “standard for a misdemeanor first-time offense.”
Criminal defense attorneys said that typically, pretrial diversion requires that defendants write an apology or write a letter of admission of guilt and pay fines. In exchange, they can get their charges dropped, and then later expunged from their record.
Kraft’s attorney could not be reached for comment Tuesday. It’s unclear if any of the 25 defendants would take the plea offer.
Court records show Kraft will have a hearing 9 a.m. March 28. Kraft’s attorney, Jack Goldberger, previously said that it’s “a routine procedural hearing” and his client wouldn’t need to appear.
Police said they watched Kraft and other men taking off their clothes and receiving sexual services last month, thanks to the handful of cameras they hid inside treatment rooms at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, a massage parlor in Jupiter.
According to the charging documents, Kraft was led to the massage parlor’s back room, where he allegedly engaged in a sex act with a female worker. He handed the worker $100 and another bill that was unidentifiable, according to the complaint.
Cops and prosecutors both say the larger effort was to crack down on human trafficking, and while no one has been charged with such a crime, Edmondson said the “larger investigation continues.”
Also this week, prosecutors in Martin County dropped a felony charge against a woman involved in the multicounty raid. A racketeering charge was dropped against Yong Wang, one of the workers. Wang, who worked at a spa in Hobe Sound, will be sentenced July 17 after instead pleading no contest to deriving proceeds or support from prostitution.