/Patriots owner Robert Kraft waives arraignment, wants jury trial in sex spa case

Patriots owner Robert Kraft waives arraignment, wants jury trial in sex spa case

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The first appearance in court in Martin County of a woman arrested in the sex spa case happened Monday. Video produced 3/19/19. WILL GREENLEE / TCPALM
Will Greenlee, Wochit

PALM BEACH COUNTY — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has waived arraignment and requested a jury trial in connection with the two prostitution-related charges he’s facing, according to records filed Tuesday.

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Kraft, 77, faces two misdemeanor charges after Jupiter police said he was one of more than a dozen men who paid for sex acts at Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Police reports said he went there Jan. 19 and Jan. 20.

More:Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution in Florida spa

Kraft, who previously filed a not guilty plea, had been scheduled for an arraignment hearing Thursday, but his attorney, Jack Goldberger, filed a waiver of arraignment, according to Palm Beach County court clerk’s records.

Kraft has requested a jury trial.  

The Thursday arraignment was canceled, Debra Oats, court operations consultant, said in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon.

A “case disposition” hearing is scheduled April 9 in West Palm Beach.

In a statement issued Saturday, Kraft has said he was “truly sorry.”

“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,” Kraft said in a written statement.

More: Spa neighbor says case ‘like a movie’

Kraft said he had wanted to speak out previously, but he didn’t in deference to the judicial process.

“Throughout my life I’ve tried to do the right thing,” Kraft said. “The last thing I would ever want to do was to disrespect another human being. 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.”

Kraft’s wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011 at age 68 after battling ovarian cancer for more than a year.

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More:Florida human trafficking case: Sex spas shut down in Martin are international businesses, investigator says

Goldberger did not respond Tuesday to an email and phone message.

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Kraft’s arrest was part of what law enforcement authorities called a human trafficking crackdown that also closed several day spas in Martin and Indian River counties and resulted in hundreds of prostitution-related arrests.

The arrests began being disclosed Feb. 19 with a media briefing at the Martin County Sheriff’s Office in which Sheriff William Snyder and Attorney General Ashley Moody spoke.

According to records, covert video surveillance equipment recorded footage of Kraft and others. 

Attorneys in the cases have taken legal steps to try to prevent the videos from being released publicly.

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