NFL owner accused in prostitution sting

Mr Kraft with New England quarterback Tom BradyImage copyright
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Mr Kraft with New England quarterback Tom Brady

The billionaire owner of the New England Patriots has been charged with soliciting prostitution in a Florida massage parlour, police say.

Robert Kraft, 77, is accused of two misdemeanour charges in Jupiter. He has denied the allegation.

The owner of the Super Bowl-winning franchise allegedly paid for sexual services at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in the beach resort, police said.

Mr Kraft’s net worth is estimated at $6.6bn (£5bn).

The tycoon was snared as part of a human-trafficking sting operation in Jupiter about a month ago, said police.

Jupiter Police chief Daniel Kerr said at a press conference on Friday that the charges stem from “two different visits” to the spa, resulting in two counts of “soliciting another to commit prostitution”.

A spokesperson for Mr Kraft said in a statement to the BBC: “We categorically deny that Mr Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.

“Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”

The spa was among 10 closed by authorities after a months-long investigation found women there were in “sexual servitude”, according to charging documents.

A detective told TCPalm.com that the alleged sex acts were captured on surveillance camera.

Warrants have also been issued for over 170 people who were swept up in the dragnet, police say.

Who is Robert Kraft?

He is the head of the Kraft Group, which has investments from sports to real estate.

Mr Kraft bought the Patriots for $172m in January 1994.

Under his 25 years of ownership the NFL team has played in 10 Super Bowls and won six championships.

He has four sons. His wife Myra died in 2011.

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