New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he's "truly sorry" after being charged with soliciting sex acts at a Florida strip mall near his home, according to Bloomberg.
"I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard," the 77-year-old Kraft said in a statement.
Despite the encounters being recorded on video, twice, Kraft has pleaded not guilty in court, and says he only remained quiet up until now "in deference to the judicial process."
Kraft was arrested in February as part of a large sting of massage parlors where clients paid $59 to $79 for women who were allegedly trafficked from China for sex work. Kraft's attorney says that the human trafficking claim is bogus.
The Orchids of Asia Spa in Jupiter, Florida was one of several businesses targeted in a human trafficking and sex investigation that apparently began in Martin County, and to top it off, had online reviews identifying it in slang terms as a provider of sexual services.
Postings from February 2015 to March 2018 on a forum-based website detailed visits involving Asian women supplying sex acts, massages and body rubs for pay. Investigators found evidence of bodily fluids and got video of sex acts inside the Palm Beach County business.
While Kraft has a court date set for Thursday, he will attend the NFL's annual owners meeting starting on Sunday in Arizona, according to a Patriots spokesman.
"The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being," said Kraft. "I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years."
"I hope to regain your confidence and respect," added Kraft. "As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect."
On Friday night, Kraft's attorney William Burck told ESPN: "There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it."
"The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn't want to admit it. The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained."