New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Tuesday waived an upcoming hearing and requested a jury trial on prostitution solicitation charges he faces in Florida, according to court documents.
Kraft had already pleaded not guilty to the two misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute, stemming from a sting operation at a massage parlor, and had initially requested a bench trial. Tuesday’s filings in court in Palm Beach County came two days before a scheduled hearing in the cases, during which Kraft would have likely been represented by his attorneys.
Kraft’s lawyers did not respond to request for comment Tuesday. The next hearing in the case is now scheduled for April 9.
Kraft, 77, has denied allegations he twice paid attendants at a Jupiter, Florida, massage parlor for sex acts in January, incidents that police claim they have captured on videotape. The Patriots owner has declined to accept a plea offer made to him and other men charged as part of the sting, in which prosecutors would drop charges if he admitted a trial would find him guilty and completed community service.
In a written statement issued Saturday, Kraft said he is “truly sorry” and regrets having caused pain and disappointment for those around him.
“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing,” Kraft said in the statement. “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.”
Kraft has attended and participated in the NFL’s annual league meetings this week in Phoenix.