After charging Patriots owner Robert Kraft with soliciting prostitution, the Jupiter police claimed they have video evidence to prove it.
WASHINGTON â€“ President Donald Trump said he was surprised by the news that New England PatriotsÂ owner Robert Kraft, a longtime supporter and friend, wasÂ charged with soliciting prostitution on Friday.Â
While speaking from the Oval Office, Trump called the episode “very sad” and saidÂ Kraft has “proclaimed his innocence” against charges that he solicited a prostitute in Florida.Â
“It’s very sad. I was very surprised to see it,” the president said. “He’s proclaimed his innocence, totally, but I am very surprised to see it.”Â
Kraft, 77, was one of 25 people charged Friday in a wide-ranging investigation into human-trafficking across multiple Florida counties. He has denied the charges.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity,” a spokesman for Kraft said in a statement. “Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
Jupiter police chief Daniel KerrÂ said in a news conferenceÂ that police have video evidence of Kraft engaging in sex acts on two separate visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa last month.
Robert Kraft probe: What we know about Patriots owner’s sex solicitation allegations
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Kraft and others with the team, including quarterback Tom Brady, have a long and friendly history with Trump. Earlier this month, the president congratulated the team, and specifically Kraft, for a great season and going all the way to the Super Bowl.
The team won the Super Bowl over the Los Angeles Rams.Â
Last year, the president touted his close relationship with Kraft in a tweet, thanking Kraft for his “excellent advice” on how to bring the 2026 World Cup to North America.Â
Thank you for all of the compliments on getting the World Cup to come to the U.S.A., Mexico and Canada. I worked hard on this, along with a Great Team of talented people. We never fail, and it will be a great World Cup! A special thanks to Bob Kraft for excellent advice.
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
The longtime friends spoke in detail about the plan and he reportedly helped play a key role in securing the bid.
Police said Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanor counts stemming from two separate visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, during which Kraft allegedly paid for sexual services.
According to Florida statutes, a first offense can carry a jail sentence of up to 60 days, and a second offense can result in a sentence of up to one year.
Kraft could also face discipline from the NFL if the league determines he violated theÂ personal conduct policy.
A warrant was issued for Kraft’s arrest because he a Massachusettes resident. He had not been arrested as of midday Friday.
Kraft’s attorneys will likely arrange a time for him to turn himself into authorities in the coming days. He will likely be eligible for bond and a court date will be scheduled after he surrenders.
Contributing: Tom Schad and Lorenzo Reyes
What Iâ€™m Hearing: TC Palmâ€™s Arnie Rosenberg from the Jupiter Police Department where detectives allege New England Patriotâ€™s owner Robert Kraft solicited prostitutes.
USA TODAY Sports