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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged in prostitution ring
Robert Kraft, a longtime friend of President Trump and owner of the New England Patriots, faces charges in a prostitution sting connected to Florida spas, police said Friday.
Kraft, 77, is facing two charges of soliciting prostitution, police in Jupiter, Fla., said during a news conference. Two instances of Kraft at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa were caught on video, they said. Kraft was one of 25 people facing charges in the incident.
"Our concern in this investigation centers around the possibility of victims of human trafficking," said Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr, adding that there was evidence of trafficking.
"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."
The Patriots did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.
A detective said the acts allegedly committed by Kraft and the others were caught on video. Kerr said that Kraft was the only high-profile person facing charges after a months-long investigation.
Kerr said a warrant for Kraft's arrest will be issued.
"We're as equally stunned as everybody else," he said.
Kraft often visits Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., which is approximately 20 miles from Jupiter. He has frequently praised Trump, saying the president helped him through his "toughest time," the death of his wife Myra Kraft in 2011.
Trump reportedly prioritized a key issue for the NFL in trade negotiations with Canada at Kraft's request last year.
Trump asked Canadian officials to renew a rule that requires Canadian advertisements to be broadcast in Canada during broadcasts of the Super Bowl, regardless of whether the game feed is on a Canadian or American broadcast, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The New England Patriots won Super Bowl 53 earlier this month, a record-tying sixth NFL championship.
-Updated at 1:02 p.m.