New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing criminal charges for soliciting a prostitute following a police raid of a massage parlor in Jupiter earlier this year. The case has been a source of public attention and embarrassment for the CEO of the Kraft Group, but it’s also putting a spotlight on sex trafficking issues in the Sunshine State.
Kraft was arrested in February after police video footage showed him in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter. Prosecutors say the Patriots owner paid for sex while visiting the spa, a charge that Kraft and his lawyers deny.
Kraft’s legal team has reportedly turned down plea deal offers and is instead arguing that the video footage should be kept out of the case against him. They say that footage was illegally obtained by cops who covertly installed cameras in the spa while posing as repairmen. Although the officers obtained a warrant to use the cameras, Kraft’s lawyers the cops should have informed him about the warrant before viewing the footage.
Meanwhile, at least one person allegedly involved in the day spa prostitution ring has been charged with human trafficking and others are facing money laundering and racketeering offenses. The case is part of a larger sting operation that’s resulted in more than 300 arrests related to sex trafficking.
Several of the women working at the Jupiter day sap were brought in from China, according to Fox News. Massage parlors and hotels are considered hotspots for human and sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking and related offenses—like soliciting—are serious offenses that can come with significant consequences.
In addition to prison time and heavy fines, a person convicted of a sex crime in Florida is likely to be required to register as a sex offender. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement maintains a public database that will list your name and address, along with a photograph. If and when sex crimes happen in your area, you are likely to be questioned by the police. You may also have a difficult time finding and keeping a job.
It’s important to understand that you are innocent until proven guilty. The burden is at all times on prosecutors to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s why it’s vital to have an experienced Florida sex crime attorney in your corner.
The Florida sex crime lawyers at Whittel & Melton represent clients throughout the Sunshine State who have been charged with a wide variety of offenses, including prostitution-related offenses, rape, internet solicitation and child pornography. We work aggressively to fight these charges head on in order to get charges dropped or reduced whenever possible.
Our firm has offices throughout the state, including in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola. Contact us online or call (866) 608-5529 for a free evaluation.
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