Matthew O’Connor 

This past Friday, February 22nd, New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, was charged with soliciting prostitution at Jupiter, Florida massage parlor, Orchids of Asia Day spa. The six-time super bowl winning owner was among 25 individuals who were arrested, and police have announced that the arrests were part of an ongoing investigation into human trafficking in Florida. Police believe the human trafficking spans from New York to China, and activity has taken place through various South Florida spa businesses. It has been reported that nearly 100 warrants have been issued for individuals in the area. Police have accused two women of running the operation in at least 5 spas in the South Florida area. 

Robert Kraft has denied any involvement in illegal activity including in the prostitution ring itself. Police, however, have told the press that as part of the investigation, they had set up hidden cameras in the spa and do in fact have video footage of Kraft allegedly engaging in the illegal activity. Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanors as he was seen visiting the spa on two different occasions in January. The 77 year-old likely faces a small fine being that he is a first time offender, but he is still currently wrapped up in the human trafficking investigation.  

John P. Havens was among the list of names of those frequenting Orchids of Asia Day spa. Havens had the same name and birthday as a renowned Wall Street banker, former Citigroup President, and Chairman of a hedge fund by the name Napier Park Global. The business enthusiast additionally has a house in Florida that is approximately 10 miles from the spa in question. He has not currently said anything to the press.  

Although the individuals who had been running the spas were arrested, the women working in the spas are being treated as victims of the human trafficking. Police have hired translators to talk to the women to find out more of what has gone on and who is involved. Investigators know that the women were moved around without access to transportation and forced to work under poor conditions. Most of the girls were living at the spas and working all day averaging 8-10 clients per day at rates of $59 for 30 minutes and $79 for 1 hour.  

This event will certainly leave its mark on Kraft’s reputation. As a respected and admired figure in the NFL, it will be interesting to see how he will attempt to come back from this. Football fans are additionally anxious to see how the NFL will penalize Robert Kraft and if he will continue to be seen on television in Gillette Stadium’s box seats.  

Human sex trafficking is the real concern in this matter. Many women suffer every day from the conditions of trafficking and our attention should be focused less on the famous person being a suspect, and more on the victims. Police are no doubt taking the necessary steps to bring an end to this operation in Florida and around the country.  

References: 

Gay, Jason. “’Mr. Kraft’ and the Sports Owner God Complex.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 24 Feb. 2019, www.wsj.com/articles/mr-kraft-and-the-sports-owner-god-complex-11551018156 

Hohler, Bob. “Robert Kraft Case: Solicitation Charge Raises Many Questions about Patriots Owner’s Future – The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.com, The Boston Globe, 24 Feb. 2019, www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/02/23/solicitation-charge-raises-many-questions-about-patriots-owner-future/GgVUGbzb6twoMENitJSMVO/story.html?p1=Article_Recommended_ReadMore_Pos1. 

Beaton, Andrew. “New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged With Soliciting Prostitution.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 22 Feb. 2019, www.wsj.com/articles/new-england-patriots-owner-robert-kraft-charged-in-prostitution-ring-11550855207?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=2. 

 

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