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Robert Kraft enters not guilty plea, requests jury trial in prostitution case

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing two prostitution charges. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Robert Kraft has formally entered a not guilty plea on two misdemeanor soliciting prostitution charges.

Palm Beach County court records filed Tuesday show that Kraft, the 77-year-old owner of the New England Patriots, has also requested a jury trial in the case. Kraft was due in court for an arraignment Thursday, but his attorneys waived the appearance by entering the not guilty plea.

From Palm Beach County court records: Robert Kraft waives his arraignment, pleads not guilty to all charges, and requests a jury trial. pic.twitter.com/nMhKztCodd

— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) March 26, 2019

The charges stem from his alleged January visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. The spa was under surveillance as part of a prostitution sting and has alleged ties to human trafficking.

Last week, Kraft and other defendants charged in the case filed a motion to have the surveillance footage blocked from public release. However, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder, who led the investigation, said he believes the videos “are probably going to get released.”

Kraft: ‘I am truly sorry’

On Saturday, ahead of the NFL owners meetings in Arizona, Kraft released a lengthy statement in an effort to “correct some misinformation” about the reporting surrounding the case.

It was his first public comment about the charges.

“In deference to the judicial process, I have remained silent these past several weeks. To correct some of the misinformation surrounding this matter, my attorney made his first public comments on Friday night. I would like to use this opportunity to say something that I have wanted to say for four weeks,” Kraft said.

“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. Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is 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.

“As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect.”

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