The proposed deal, however, calls for Kraft to admit he would have been found guilty at trial
Florida prosecutors have offered to drop charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a number of other men charged with soliciting prostitution, according to a person familiar with the matter, but there is a catch. The proposed agreement calls for the men to admit they would have been proven guilty at trial.
The proposed deferred prosecution agreement calls for completion of an education course about prostitution, completion of 100 hours of community service, screening for sexually transmitted diseases and payment of some court costs.
But in an unusual provision, the agreement also calls for the defendants to review the evidence in the case and agree that, if it were to go to trial, the state would be able to prove their guilt, this person said. It isn’t clear whether Mr. Kraft and others would accept such a condition. When the charges were announced, a spokesman for Mr. Kraft denied he engaged in illegal activity.
A spokesman for the state attorney’s office said that it is the standard resolution for first-time offenders, or they go to trial. A spokeswoman for the Jupiter Police Department did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Mr. Kraft, whose Patriots won the Super Bowl in February, was one of more than two dozen men charged with solicitation last month in Jupiter as part of a multi-city investigation into multiple South Florida spas. One of those locations was Orchids of Asia Day Spa, which Mr. Kraft allegedly visited and received sex acts. Prosecutors charged him with two counts of soliciting prostitution, acts they say were caught on video surveillance. Mr. Kraft has pleaded not guilty.
Legal experts have raised questions about the tactics Jupiter, Fla., police used in obtaining search warrants for an investigation they said was intended to stop a growing human trafficking problem.
Prosecutors and law-enforcement officials had described the investigation as a probe into human trafficking and portrayed the men who patronized the spas as contributing to the demand for sex slavery. In announcing the charges, Dave Aronberg, the state attorney for Palm Beach County, had called human trafficking “evil in our midst,” echoing the rhetoric of law-enforcement officials.
But no one has been charged with human trafficking in the case. Prosecutors’ affidavits have not detailed evidence of human trafficking at Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
“The police are making this case that this is a major human trafficking ring, and that’s why it’s so serious,” said Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor and managing partner of Tucker Levin, PLLC who is not connected to the case. “The fact that they had cameras installed in the locations for so long somewhat undermines the claim that there was an extraordinary danger to the people working in the establishment.”
Prosecutors alleged they saw Mr. Kraft, 77 years old, enter Orchids of Asia Day Spa, located in a small strip mall, on two occasions and saw him pay cash and receive sex acts. He was identified in a traffic stop after his first visit on Jan. 19, when he was the passenger in a vehicle, and visited the spa again the next day, before the Patriots played the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.
At least one of the women Mr. Kraft was alleged to have engaged with was an operator of the spa, while both were licensed, according to Florida Department of Health records.
Mr. Kraft could still face punishment from the NFL, which has said in regards to him that the league’s “personal conduct policy applies equally to everyone.” The league said it would “take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts.”
The league has previously disciplined players in cases where they were not prosecuted.
“I think Kraft’s biggest problem is going to be NFL management,” said David Weinstein, a Miami lawyer and former prosecutor in the Southern District of Florida. “Their standards are far lower than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Over the next eight months, a sprawling investigation spilled into neighboring cities and counties, outlining a network of spas that authorities describe as brothels where women worked in poor conditions. One of those locations was Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., where prosecutors charged New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with two counts of soliciting prostitution, acts they say were caught on video surveillance. Mr. Kraft was one of 25 men charged in Jupiter, a slice of a broader operation in which more than 100 across the area were charged.
.. The story of how authorities wound up in a position to accuse Mr. Kraft and others begins with an unusual decision Mr. Snyder made when he first received word about the suitcases. The traditional approach would be to send in an undercover officer to determine if prostitution is taking place, arrest the people involved and “bang, it’s over,” Mr. Snyder says.
Instead, authorities mounted a more ambitious investigation that found Chinese immigrant women were working in slave-like conditions as sex workers at several South Florida spas.
Other clues about the wrongdoing included the women working at the spas only speaking dialects of Chinese. Masseuses are licensed in Florida after an exam that is only administered English and Spanish. Many of the licenses, authorities determined, were fraudulent.
On Friday, Davis, who has worked as a Web designer and travel scheduler for Stone, became the latest associate of the political operative to appear before the grand jury convened by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
.. At least half a dozen of Stone’s associates have been subpoenaed or been contacted by the special counsel’s office. Investigators have been looking into Stone’s communication with the Twitter persona Guccifer 2.0
.. Late last month, Stone, 65, posted a photo of Davis, 41, and her son on his Instagram account, writing: “Why do FBI agents dispatched by Robert Mueller keep asking a number of my current and former associates if I am this baby’s father? What does this have to do with Russian Collusion and the 2016 election.”
.. Davis, a poised and articulate speaker who has touted her business acumen, had a compelling backstory, one with natural appeal to Stone, a bon vivant with a long-established reputation for taking delight in all things salacious who sometimes quips that he is “tri-sexual. I’ve tried everything.”
.. In her late teens, she says, she was already working in the finance industry, eventually becoming a vice president at an East Coast hedge fund in her early 20s. She noticed how highflying finance types celebrated by hiring prostitutes. Sensing a business opportunity, she opened a high-end prostitution service in New York.
.. At its height, she says, she had a roster of 10,000 clients willing to pay more than $1,000 an hour for sex or companionship. She managed the business but didn’t have sex with clients herself, she says. Her staff called her “Mama Fabulous.” She also developed her own websites — a skill that would come in handy years later when she met Stone.
.. Davis has claimed repeatedly that Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor, was one of her frequent clients, using the code name “James” while he was serving as the state’s attorney general.
.. Davis was arrested and sent to Rikers in 2008, the same year that Spitzer, who was never charged with a crime, resigned as governor after the New York Times reported that he’d patronized the Emperors Club VIP, another high-priced prostitution service.
.. Stone, who’d helped her through months of her pregnancy, had a suggestion for the infant’s name: “Roger.”
“Roger kind of felt like he deserved it,” Davis says with a chuckle. “I said, ‘Absolutely not!’ ”
Instead, Stone and his wife, Nydia, became the child’s godparents.
.. Stone’s quarters are equipped with broadcasting equipment for his regular appearances on Infowars, the controversial, conspiracy-oriented website run by Alex Jones. As the Mueller probe has progressed, the apartment — much like Stone’s home and office in Florida — has become a command center in his campaign to discredit the investigation.