Patriots owner Robert Kraft waives arraignment, requests jury trial in Florida solicitation case

BOSTON (WHDH) - Attorneys representing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have waived his arraignment and requested a jury trial in the Florida solicitation case, according to new Palm Beach County court filings.

Kraft, who was slated to be arraigned Thursday, has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution. A new court date has been set for April 9.

Kraft apologized Saturday in his first public statement since the allegations were made public.

“I am 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,” he wrote in a statement.

Kraft also said he has “extraordinary respect for women,” adding that his morals were shaped by his late wife. Myra Kraft died in 2011.

The 77-year-old is among hundreds of men accused of paying for sex acts as part of a crackdown on prostitution allegedly occurring in massage parlors across Florida.

Police say Kraft visited a Jupiter massage parlor the day before and on the morning of his team’s AFC Championship win over with the Kansas City Chiefs, and paid cash in exchange for sexual services.

Kraft was allegedly seen on surveillance video paying with a $100 bill after each visit and hugging women before leaving the building.

His attorneys have asked a judge to block the release of the video recordings.

Prosecutors have offered to drop the charges if Kraft and the other men enter a diversion program for first-time offenders. That would include an admission they would be found guilty if their case went to trial, a $5,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and attendance in a class on the dangers of prostitution and its connection to human trafficking.

Through a spokesperson, Kraft “categorically” denied that he engaged in illegal activity.

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