Patriots owner Robert Kraft could be formally charged Monday with soliciting a prostitute, and the NFL said in a statement it would take “appropriate action based on the facts.”
The league will determine whether the 77-year-old Kraft is in violation of its Personal Conduct Policy after his name surfaced in an investigation into human trafficking and prostitution at area massage parlors in Jupiter, Fla. Local authorities said Kraft allegedly paid for the services of a prostitute during “two different visits.”
In the statement, the NFL noted the Personal Conduct Policy “applies equally to everyone in the NFL.”
Through a spokesman, Kraft has denied the charges.
Owners as well as players, coaches and front-office executives fall under the umbrella of the policy.
“We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under the Policy,” the statement said.
But the NFL will wait until more information becomes available before making a ruling.
“We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring that we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation,” the statement said. “We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts.”
Other NFL owners have been penalized under similar circumstances, most recently in 2014, when the league suspended Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for six games and fined him $500,000, after Irsay pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated.
Previously, then-San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. was banned for an entire season and fined $1 million in connection with a gambling scandal in Louisiana in 1999.