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<span>Legal Analysis of Arrest of Robert Kraft</span> for Solicitation or Engaging in Prostitution

Legal Analysis of Arrest of Robert Kraft for Solicitation or Engaging in Prostitution

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phillips & hunt Robert Kraft Arrest

Robert Kraft, the outspoken owner of the New England Patriots, was apparently accused of solicitation of prostitution. According to police, Kraft faces two counts of soliciting prostitution for two different visits of a Florida spa, at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. It was tied to an international human trafficking ring, police said. Here is the yelp page for Orchids of Asia.

Law enforcement was conducting a sting to stop sex trafficking. They focused on this particular spa for multiple months and 5 search warrants were issued on residences. They are also investigating money laundering involved with this facility. It is part of a larger sting. Officers conducted surveillance and wore body worn cameras during the sting and also insinuated they obtained footage of the actual sex acts. That is so shocking, it is worth repeating… the actual acts of prostitution were allegedly recorded in the police sting according to police via hidden cameras, including possible video evidence of Mr. Kraft and the prostitute(s). Police commented about the rates of the facility, stating, if you go to the spa for for a half hour, the charge was $59.00. It was $89.00 per hour. There were likely up-charges and tips involved for more explicit acts. Police would not elaborate, but indicate same will be forthcoming in an arrest affidavit.

The spa was among 10 shut down in Orlando, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast after a several-month investigation revealed women there were in “sexual servitude,” according to arrest records. According to the media, about 200 arrest warrants have been issued in recent days and more are expected.

Kraft and others would be charged with misdemeanor solicitation. Since Kraft lives outside Palm Beach, County, Florida, a warrant will be issued for his arrest. Kraft is not a Florida resident, but he owns property in Palm Beach.

LEGAL ANALYSIS:

Under 796.07, Prohibiting prostitution and related acts, it is illegal, “To purchase the services of any person engaged in prostitution.” A person who violates any provision of this section commits: “A misdemeanor of the second degree for a first violation, punishable as provided in s.775.082 or s. 775.083 (and) (a) misdemeanor of the first degree for a second violation, punishable as provided in s.775.082 or s. 775.083.”  There is also an enhancement available for sex acts in these facilities. However, we’s expect no jail time and pre-trial intervention to be the more likely resolution.

Robert Kraft was apparently video taped and police noted his was dropped off by a driver. Given this is a likely first offense and his overall status as a wealthy entrepreneur, we’d expect Kraft to be eligible for pre-trial intervention, which will require some level of counseling and community service. Probation is possible. However, there will be pressure on the State Attorney to handle all of the cases equally and Kraft was purportedly a two time visitor.

UPDATE:

Documents released by prosecutors state, Kraft arrived at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa twice.

January 19: 

According to court documents, Kraft paid for a threesome on Jan. 19 — with two women taking turns “manipulating his genitals.” Once Kraft finished, the women cleaned him up and he gave them each a $100 bill.

January 20: 

Kraft arrived in a chauffeured 2015 blue Bentley at 11 a.m. on Jan. 20. He was videotaped receiving oral and manual sex from a woman at the spa in Jupiter. Officials say he gave her a $100 bill and another bill before leaving at 11:15 a.m. He was later flown to Kansas City for the AFC Championship Game against the host Chiefs kicked off at 6:40 p.m. ET.

A court date has been set for 8:30 a.m. ET on April 24. Kraft will have a “low level” arrest warrant issued in his name — similar to a traffic ticket — and he will not need to appear in court. His attorneys can enter any pleas.

A spokesperson for Kraft said they “categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.”

UPDATE:

Other High Profile Defendants:

John Childs is another billionaire was charged with solicitation of prostitution. Childs founded a Boston-based private-equity firm, J.W. Childs Associates, focused on middle-market growth companies in 1995. The firm has invested about $3.7 billion of equity capital in more than 50 businesses, according to its website. He allegedly donated about $4.3 million to Republican candidates and PACs last cycle, according to a review of federal campaign finance records. His largest donation, $250,000, went to America First Action, a pro-Donald Trump super PAC. Senate Conservative Action, Freedom Partners Action Fund and the National Republican Senate Committee all received large contributions over the past two years. Other large contributions have gone to Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Rep. Mimi Walters of California. He also gave $600,000 to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign last year.

Childs has owned a home in Vero Beach for more than a decade, according to public records. “I have received no contact by the police department about this charge,” he told Bloomberg on Friday. “The accusation of solicitation of prostitution is totally false. I have retained a lawyer.”

John HavensCitigroup Inc.’s former president and chief operating officer, appeared on the same list (above) as Kraft. A Harvard grad, his home has been very successful in business and is the current chairman of Citigroup spinoff, Napier Park Global Capital.  “I have no idea what you are talking about,” a man who answered a listed phone number for Havens said when reached by phone. He then hung up and additional calls weren’t answered. The entry on the list released by police matches Havens’ middle initial and date of birth. Havens has a home in Florida near Jupiter.

Ken Wessel, a sponsor for the Boys and Girls Club of Indian River County and President of the John’s Island Foundation was allegedly arrested at East Spa at 2345 14th Avenue in Vero Beach. He allegedly went into East Spa on Dec. 2, 2018 and, according to the arrest report, a woman performed sex acts on him. He left cash on the bed and left.

Jon Edward Broecker, 49, was charged with soliciting prostitution, according to an arrest warrant. He was a former deputy in Greenville and Spartanburg counties, according to records from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Broecker allegedly entered a massage room with a female employee, Lan Yun Ma, where she performed a sex act on Broecker, according to an arrest warrant.

Lanyun Ma / Lan Yun Ma:

Law Enforcement / Prosecutors released the names of several people in charge of the operation. One was Lanyun Ma, 49, of Orlando. Lanyun Ma was the manager of the East Spa massage parlors in Vero Beach and Winter Park and of AA Massage in Sebastian. Yan, Lanyun Ma’s husband, was the business owner of those spas. She was charged with human trafficking, racketeering, unlawful transportation for the purpose of prostitution, deriving support from proceeds of prostitution and engaging in prostitution. Her bail was set at $155,500. She apparently was a licensed massage therapist in Florida.

Here’s the problem: In 2013, Lan Yun Ma, 43 (same name, same age minus a space) was arrested in Oxford, Massachusetts. She was merely placed on probation for three years after entering a guilty plea in Worcester Superior Court to a charge of solicitation for prostitution. The charges to which the Chinese-born women pleaded guilty had been amended from trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, a felony carrying a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment.

She was charged as a result of a 2011 state police investigation into what was purported to be a therapeutic massage business at 2 Fairlawn Ave. in Oxford,Massachusetts. Prosecutors said the eight-month probe by the state police special service section showed that the now-defunct business was actually a house of prostitution employing women from the Flushing, N.Y., area who were recent immigrants to the United States and who engaged in sexual conduct for a fee. Yet, Florida licensed her?

Lan Yun Ma’s lawyer was Michael H. Erlich. Lanyun Ma have been in the area since 2017, so right after she would have gotten off probation.

Lan Yun Ma Attorney Michael H. Erlich:

Lan Yun Ma’s lawyer, Michael H. Erlich, attended law school in Florida and has been a full time lawyer in Massachusetts. On social media and his website, he proudly stands in front of a Tom Brady jersey and photos of his office reveal substantial memorabilia from the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. Ties to the Patriots organization or Kraft are unknown. Also unknown is any other link to the Florida sting, other than he represented the chief defendant at once facility in the past. Coincidence, we assume.

Of course, he also posted in Kraft’s favor and accused law enforcement of wrongdoing based on football team allegiance, calling out the “pathetic Chief of Police of the The Jupiter Police Department” without mentioning he represented the apparent ringleader. It’s all so strange. We hope prosecutors look at this angle.

Other Defendants / Proprietors:

Three others – Yongzhang Yan, Lanfen Ma, 43, of Orlando, and Peixia Zhang , 47, of Vero Beach – are wanted on charges in connection with the undercover probe. Authorities believe Lanfen Ma, who is Lanyun Ma’s sister, is out of the country; Peixia Zhang is believed to be on the west coast.

Vero Beach police raided Yan’s home, but he was not there, Currey said. Police are in the process of reviewing Yan’s computer, passports, citizenship and other documents as part of the investigation.

Sex Trafficking:

Trafficking in persons is now the third most profitable business for organized crime, behind drugs and arms. It is also the fastest growing form of international crime. 71% of slavery victims are women and girls. According to a UN study, 80% of documented cases of human trafficking are for the purposes of sexual exploitation. The United States was listed as the most common destination for victims.

If you think this is a victimless crime, you are wrong.

John on HLN:


Victims of Trafficking:

We use the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) to penalize the full range of human trafficking offenses. We will sue you abusers with a civil lawsuit, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1595 and other laws to sue for money damages in federal court. We work with some of best lawyers in the country, in every language, and will accept these cases. Call is 800-548-4428.


John M. Phillips is a high profile attorney, who hosted the radio show, Courts & Sports, for multiple years and was a former NFL and CFL certified sports agent. He now exclusively practices law in the fields of high profile litigation, including civil litigation and criminal defense.

We invite you to review our verdicts, our accolades and awards and what clients have to say about us and give us a call for a free consultation where our lawyers will consult with you personally.  John represents clients in Florida, Georgia and Alabama and before the U.S. Supreme Court with passion and compassion. Our firm handles a wide variety of injury and death cases, criminal defense, family law and a host of high profile matters. We can be emailed at [email protected] or call us at (904) 444-4444 in Florida or (912) 444-4444 in Georgia, or at 800-LITIGATE.

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