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Patriots owner Robert Kraft formally charged in Florida prostitution sting

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Florida prosecutors on Monday filed formal charges against Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots football team, and about two dozen other men for soliciting prostitution at massage parlors, authorities said on Monday.

The investigation by law enforcement officers in three Florida counties into the trafficking of young women to work at day spas and massage parlors has led to hundreds being charged.

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Kraft, 77, and the other defendants charged with first-degree misdemeanors “come from all walks of life,” Dave Aronberg, the state attorney for Palm Beach County, told reporters.

On Friday, police named Kraft as a client at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, saying they had video of him engaging in paid sex acts with a worker there on two occasions.

Florida law requires that defendants convicted of those crimes pay a $5,000 fine, perform 100 hours of community service and take classes on the dangers of prostitution and human trafficking, Aronberg said. While they also face possible jail time of 60 days to one year, it is not likely to be applied to first-time offenders, he said.

Kraft denies engaging in “any illegal activity,” according to Aaron Salkin, a spokesman for Kraft and the Super Bowl champion Patriots, the National Football League’s dominant franchise.

Kraft and the other defendants were charged as part of a statewide probe into human trafficking, which Aronberg said was still underway.

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“The larger picture which we must all confront is the cold reality that many prostitutes in cases like this are themselves victims,” he said.

The NFL, which said last week it was monitoring the case, released a new statement on Monday saying everyone, including team owners, were bound by the league’s personal conduct policy.

“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.”

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Reporting by Jonathan Allen and Peter Szekely in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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North Korea announces ‘test of very great importance’ occurred at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground: report

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North Korea state media reported on a "successful" test at a missile launch site.

"A very important test took place at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on the afternoon of December 7, 2019," a spokesperson for the Academy of the National Defense Science said.

The spokesperson said the test was "of great significance to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

https://twitter.com/nktpnd/status/1203486463209431041

#UPDATE North Korea conducts a "very important test" at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media reports, as nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington remain deadlocked https://t.co/abYhRDvBic pic.twitter.com/neCYEQTEhf

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Here’s why Ukrainians are shocked about Rudy Giuliani’s new associate

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President Donald Trump's personal attorney is causing "shock" among Ukrainians for working with Andrey Artemenko, according to new reports.

"In an attempt to exonerate President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani has been working with right-wing media outlet One America News Network (OAN) to produce a television special featuring a string of current and former Ukrainian officials defending Trump’s conduct in withholding military aid to Ukraine and seeking investigations of the Bidens," Law & Crime reported Saturday.

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‘Irony and Outrage’: How different — and how similar — are Samantha Bee and Fox News?

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Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly are masters of outrage — not just the emotion, but a genre of political theater — just as Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are masters of ironic satire. They’re poles apart, and yet — ironically or outrageously — they’re profoundly similar, both in how they’re impacting their audiences, and why their genres emerged when they did. That’s perhaps the central thesis of “Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States,” by Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, who’s both a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware and an improv comedian with the troupe ComedySportz Philadelphia. That’s among the many different hats she wears.

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