Patriots owner Robert Kraft offered plea deal in prostitution case

Florida prosecutors have offered a plea deal to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other men charged with paying for illicit sex at a massage parlor.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office confirmed Tuesday it has offered Kraft and 24 other men charged with soliciting prostitution the standard diversion program offered to first-time offenders. The men must concede they would be found guilty, perform 100 hours community service and attend a class on prostitution’s dangers and how it perpetuates human trafficking, spokesman Mike Edmondson said. They also must be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pay a court fee of $5,000 per count. Kraft, 77, was charged with two counts last month.

In return, the charges of misdemeanor soliciting prostitution would be dropped.

Kraft’s attorney, Jack Goldberger, did not immediately return a call seeking comment, and Patriots spokesman Stacey James refused comment. If Kraft refuses the deal, he would be put on trial and, if found guilty, face a possible year in jail, although that would be unlikely. He has pleaded not guilty.

Kraft is one of about 300 men charged in multiple counties between Palm Beach and Orlando as part of a crackdown on illicit massage parlors and human trafficking.

Hua Zhang, 58, the owner of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, the Jupiter, Fla., parlor Kraft is accused of visiting twice in January, is charged with 29 felony prostitution and related charges.

Rams agree with Matthews, Bortles: The Rams agreed to sign longtime Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews to a two-year contract and former 49ers quarterback Blake Bortles to an undisclosed deal.

Bortles was released last week by Jacksonville after the Jaguars signed Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Bortles is expected to replace Sean Mannion as Jared Goff’s backup with the NFC champions.

Matthews can call the L.A. Coliseum home again after playhing for USC. He had 83½ sacks in his 10 seasons with the Packers, earning six Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl ring.

Rams’ Brown to Detroit? Rams restricted free-agent running back Malcolm Brown signed an offer sheet from the Lions. Los Angeles has five days to match the Lions’ offer, or to let Brown leave for Detroit. The Rams won’t get any compensation if they lose Brown, an undrafted free agent from Texas.

Also, Detroit signed former New Orleans wide receiver Tommylee Lewis.

Briefly: Carolina signed unrestricted free agent linebacker/defensive end Bruce Irvin to a one-year undisclosed contract. A first-round draft pick in 2012 by Seattle, Irvin split last season with the Raiders and Atlanta, playing eight games for each team and recording 6½ sacks and 19 tackles. … Pittsburgh signed former Rams linebacker Mark Barron to a two-year deal to replace Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier, whose career is on hiatus while he recovers from a spinal injury suffered in a win over Cincinnati in December 2017. … Dallas agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free-agent receiver Randall Cobb, who spent the first eight years of his NFL career with Green Bay. … Another former Packer, cornerback Bashaud Breeland, signed a $2 million contract for next season with Kansas City that could be worth an additional $3 million if incentives are met. … Minnesota agreed on a new contract with kicker Dan Bailey, the eight-year veteran who replaced struggling rookie Daniel Carlson. … The Jets signed tight end Daniel Brown, a special-teams player for Chicago the past three seasons, and re-signed tight end Eric Tomlinson and offensive lineman Brent Qvale.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Patriots-owner-Robert-Kraft-offered-plea-deal-in-13701985.php.

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