The prostitution case against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is scheduled for an arraignment March 28, court records show.
A notice filed Wednesday reads that “the defendant must be present at this hearing,” which is set to be at the North County Courthouse in Palm Beach Gardens. However, Kraft’s attorney, Jack Goldberger, said that language is “boilerplate” on notices to appear.
“The lawyer appears for the defendant in a misdemeanor case,” Goldberger explained in an email. “The defendant does not appear.”
Reached by telephone Thursday morning, Goldberger maintained Kraft’s innocence.
Kraft, a 77-year-old part-time Palm Beach resident, through a spokesperson has adamantly denied the allegations that he twice paid for sex acts at a Jupiter day spa. Court records indicate he has formally entered a plea of not guilty in one of the two cases against him.
>>RELATED Human trafficking ‘evil in our midst,’ Aronberg says in announcing prostitution arrests
Kraft is one of 25 men facing charges in the monthslong investigation into Jupiter’s Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Of the men whose cases have been entered into Palm Beach County’s online system — 16 including Kraft — all received similar notices regarding their next court appearances, court records show.
The State Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to questions about the court proceedings in this investigation.
Police allege that the spa was part of an international human-trafficking and prostitution ring and say they have video of Kraft, former Citigroup operations chief John Havens and 23 other men paying the women at the spa to perform sex acts between Jan. 18 and Jan. 22. The spa’s owner and manager also face charges. State Attorney Dave Aronberg announced that charges had been filed against the men on Feb. 25.
>>RELATED Schooling the johns: How Palm Beach County handles prostitution arrests
Kraft is alleged to have visited the spa Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, shortly before he flew to Kansas City to see his team play in the AFC Championship game.
Kraft and the other men facing prostitution-related charges most likely will not serve jail time, although they face up to a year in custody.
They most likely will end up doing community service and taking the Prostitution Impact Prevention Education — or PIPE — class, which aims to scare the men who solicit prostitutes, known as “johns,” by educating them on the violence, drugs and diseases that are rampant within the illicit sex business, said program founder Gail Levine.
>>RELATED Human-trafficking probe has no human-trafficking arrests. Here’s why.