Patriots

Solicitation charge places Robert Kraft at Orchids of Asia Day Spa on day of AFC title game

Solicitation charge places Robert Kraft at Orchids of Asia Day Spa on day of AFC title game

Palm Beach County state attorney Dave Aronberg came out swinging in his press conference Monday afternoon.

"This isn't about lonely old men or victimless crimes," he said.

What he was referencing were the prostitution-related charges facing 25 individuals based on the Jupiter, Fla., Police Department's investigation into criminal activity occurring at Orchids of Asia Day Spa, which began in October. 

The highest-profile name involved is that of Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, who was placed at that location on two separate occasions, including the morning of Jan. 20, hours ahead of the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City. 

Aronberg indicated that the individuals involved will be charged with first-degree misdemeanors of soliciting prostitution. A first-degree conviction would result in a mandatory 100 hours of community service, a $5,000 fine and a course intended to educate on the dangers of human trafficking. A conviction could result in a maximum of a year in jail time.

Aronberg said that diversion programs are "available."

"There are diversion programs available, there are classes available," he said. "Just because the mandatory penalty is up to a year in jail doesn't mean someone is going to get that."

With a diversion, there is no plea from the accused. A Deferred Prosecution Agreement would be signed, and the state would defer prosecution. So long as the accused accomplished that which was agreed upon with the state, the expectation is that the case would be dismissed. 

The Boston Herald's Kevin Duffy spoke to Palm Beach County attorney Steven Bell, who explained the diversion program process, and how common those are in cases like these, though Bell explained that the human trafficking element could impact the likelihood that the state would be willing to defer prosecution.

Kraft is being considered a resident of the state of Florida because he holds a residence there. His attorney has been issued a summons and will not have to make a public court appearance, Aronberg explained.

Aronberg was asked several questions about Kraft but did not get into the specifics of his case. 

Aronberg did make several comments to highlight how strongly he feels about providing preferential treatment for those with means. This is a case, Aronberg frequently pointed out, that deals with the broader issue of human trafficking. 

"Our office treats everyone the same," he said, "whether you have a lot of money or are indigent . . . This isn't about lonely old men or victimless crimes."

On the subject of any "bigger" names that might be involved in some way shape or form in this case, Aronberg said, "that would be news to me." ESPN reported on Friday that there was a name more noteworthy than Kraft's that was somehow involved. 

"Hard for me to talk about rumors," Aronberg said, "especially false ones."

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Julian Edelman responds to Antonio Brown-to-Patriots rumor with company line

Julian Edelman responds to Antonio Brown-to-Patriots rumor with company line

Julian Edelman apparently took notes from Tom Brady's interview Thursday night.

The morning after Brady deflected a question about Antonio Brown's possible return to the New England Patriots, Edelman was asked about the same subject Friday morning on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show."

Specifically: Is there any part of you that wants to see Brown back in a Patriots uniform this season?

"I don’t make personnel decisions," Edelman said, via WEEI.com. "My focus is entirely on the Dallas Cowboys.”

“We’ve got a huge game this week, this is a team that is playing very well and is a team you don’t get to see. This is America’s team. Everyone grew up either loving or hating the Cowboys. So, that’s where my focus is at."

Edelman's answer is right in line with that of his quarterback, who has repeatedly said that personnel decisions aren't up to him when asked about Brown or any other player with reported ties to the Patriots.

Brown spent just over two weeks as Edelman's teammate earlier this season before New England released him in September. The free-agent wide receiver -- whom the NFL is investigating for multiple allegations of sexual assault -- drummed up speculation about a Patriots return with a recent "apology" to team owner Robert Kraft on social media.

NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran is reporting the Patriots have no interest in bringing Brown back, though.

In any case, Edelman insists he's just keeping his head down -- to the point where he'll probably hear about any Patriots transaction just like the rest of us.

"I think that's the only way I find out," Edelman said when asked if he's ever learned about team news on social media. "We've got a department that handles that, and they do what's best for the team in their eyes, and we kind of just go out and play."

"There's been plenty of times when you look at the ticker and go, 'Oh, we signed that guy. Cool.' "

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Tom Brady addresses rumors of Antonio Brown possibly rejoining Patriots

Tom Brady addresses rumors of Antonio Brown possibly rejoining Patriots

The New England Patriots certainly could use some help offensively, and there's no doubt wide receiver Antonio Brown would provide a major boost.

Rumors continue to swirl about a possible reunion with Brown in New England after the seven-time Pro Bowler issued an apology via social media to Patriots owner Robert Kraft. And with the Patriots' offensive production being a serious concern at this point in the season, bringing the troubled wideout back could make sense if he's ruled eligible to play by the NFL.

But what does Tom Brady think about Brown potentially returning? He briefly shared his thoughts with Jim Gray of Westwood One on Thursday.

"I don't think those decisions honestly are up to me," Brady said. "They are not up to me when we cut players or sign players. I think the people in the personnel department decide those things. My job is to play quarterback and that is what I am trying to do as well as I possibly can."

As one would expect, the Patriots quarterback clearly has no interest in speaking about possible additions, especially when it involves a controversial player like Brown.

NBC Sports Boston's own Tom E. Curran reported Thursday the Patriots are not interested in bringing Brown back this season, so it looks like the rumors can be put to rest anyway.

Brady and the Patriots will face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday for what's sure to be an entertaining Week 12 matchup. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.

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