FOXBOROUGH - There have been very few developments on the prostitution charges that were filed against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft earlier this year. In February, Kraft faced the charges of prostitution solicitation to which he plead not guilty. It was alleged that he visited a massage parlor in Florida that was actually a front for prostitution. If he was to be convicted of these charges, a five thousand dollar fine and a year in prison would have been levied against him.
Since then, the news has been largely mum on the Kraft front with the only real development coming with the shutdown of the investigation that would have exposed the massage parlor (attended by Kraft) as a front for a sex trafficking institution. The potential consequences of Kraft's alleged actions in January could be much more severe, though, then just a fine and a year in prison. The idea of felony charges has entered into the court case's narrative, as shared by Yahoo Sports.
Prosecutors have alleged that their records and video surveillance footage show Kraft engaging in sexual acts with the women and paying them for doing so, per Fox News. Kraft repeatedly maintained his innocence, even refusing a plea deal that would have required an admission of guilt. As such, the Kraft defense team moved to prevent the showing of the footage. The Florida judge, Leonard Hanser, ruled back in May that the prosecution team was not allowed to show the video on the grounds that it was a violation of privacy for people who attended the massage parlor strictly to receive legal massages. A proper warrant was obtained to film the alleged criminals in the parlor, but it did not go far enough to protect the privacy of legal customers.
However, this ruling from Judge Hanser did not sit well with the prosecution and they have motioned to appeal the ruling. If the appeal goes through, then the video evidence would be allowed back in the court cases, which has almost been going on for an entire year. If this appeal passes, as well, the prosecutors have claimed that they would be interested in filing a felony charge against Kraft, which could result in five years in prison for the Patriots owner.
I still believe that, unfortunately, Kraft, should he be found guilty, will probably find some way to avoid charges of such severity. But maybe the idea that he is above the law is what brought him to this place of legality in the first place. Regardless, we will have to await further updates from the West Palm Beach legal proceedings to find out where Kraft will be and when.
Image via Flickr/Kraft Sports Productions