Patriots Owner Kraft Says He's `Sorry' Ahead of Court Appearance

(Bloomberg) -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he’s “truly sorry” weeks after he was charged with soliciting sexual acts at a strip mall near his home in Florida.

“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 billionaire said in a statement.

He has pleaded not guilty in court, and said he had remained silent up to this point “in deference to the judicial process.” He was arrested in February amid a larger sweep of massage parlors where clients paid $59 to $79 to women who were the authorities say were trafficked sex workers from China.

Patriots Owner Kraft Says He's `Sorry' Ahead of Court Appearance

The police say the encounters are recorded on video.

The NFL’s annual owners meeting will be held starting Sunday in Arizona. A Patriots spokesman said Kraft will attend. His court date is set for Thursday.

“The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being,” Kraft said in the statement. “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,” he wrote.

Kraft’s lawyer, William Burck, told ESPN Friday night: “There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it.”

Burck said the video and a traffic stop were illegal and urged the state attorney to “step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained.”

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