Lawyer: Kraft Won't Appear for Prostitution Case Arraignment - NBC4 Washington
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Lawyer: Kraft Won't Appear for Prostitution Case Arraignment

Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing two misdemeanor counts of soliciting another for prostitution after authorities say they caught him on video engaging in sex acts at an illicit massage spa

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    Lawyer: Kraft Doesn't Have to Appear for FL Arraignment

    New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has a new arraignment date in Florida to face soliciting prostitution charges in Palm Beach County after new court paperwork was filed, rescheduling the hearing for a second time.

    (Published Thursday, March 7, 2019)

    New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has a new arraignment date in Florida to face soliciting prostitution charges in Palm Beach County after new court paperwork was filed, rescheduling the hearing for a second time.

    Court documents show that the 77-year-old Brookline, Massachusetts, resident will be arraigned on Thursday, March 28, pushing back the rescheduled hearing by a day.

    Although the court paperwork said Kraft had to be present at the hearing, a Palm Beach County clerk told NBC10 Boston that Kraft doesn't have to appear if his attorneys file a motion stating they will appear on his behalf.

    Jack Goldberger, one of Kraft's attorneys, called the court paperwork "routine procedural" and that his client would not appear in court.

    "The notice of appearance by the defendant is boilerplate, but in fact, the lawyer appears for the defendant in a misdemeanor case," he said in a statement.

    Kraft is facing two misdemeanor counts of soliciting another for prostitution after authorities in Jupiter, Florida, said they caught him on video engaging in sex acts twice -- including once hours before this year's AFC Championship Game -- at an illicit massage parlor called the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

    The new arraignment date comes as The New York Times reports Kraft hired two heavy-hitting attorneys to defend him against the charges, which he has adamantly denied.

    Kraft was among hundreds of men charged with soliciting prostitution in February amid a wide-ranging investigation into human trafficking at massage parlor spas.

    His previous arraignment date of March 27 would have coincided with the annual NFL meetings, which he's expected to attend. His original arraignment date was slated for April 24.

    "Any appearance in court will be a PR nightmare," said NBC10 legal analyst Michael Coyne.

    NBC10 Boston learned the agreement was reached weeks ago but filed under seal and only visible to the parties involved.

    "When you have as much money as Mr. Kraft does, you don’t hire your attorney's from Walmart," said Coyne. "He would like a quick resolution of these charges."

    The case has put a spotlight on human trafficking.

    If convicted, the Patriots owner could face up to a year behind bars, according to prosecutors. However, while it's unlikely that he'll receive a jail sentence, legal experts say he may face other legal and legacy-related issues as a result of the allegations.

    "By pleading not guilty, he now has the option to ultimately change that plea and make a deal, or if the deal is not favorable as he sees it, take the matter to trial," said Coyne.