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.
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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