Prostitution charges against Patriots owner Robert Kraft in a Florida massage parlor scandal were quickly dropped, but sex workers in the case were forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines

robert kraft

  • Federal charges were brought against the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 24 other men, and employees at Orchids of Asia Day Spa and Massage in Jupiter, Florida, last year.
  • At the time, prosecutors said the men paid for the employees to perform sex acts on them. 
  • Charges against the men were later dropped, but the women who worked at the massage parlor took plea deals and had to pay thousands of dollars in fines. 
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Women involved in a massage-parlor prostitution sting involving Robert Kraft were ordered to pay fines last week — months after all charges were dropped against the New England Patriots owner.

Four women, Kraft, and 24 other men were charged last year when federal prosecutors said the men engaged in sex acts with employees at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa and Massage in Jupiter, Florida.

Charges against Kraft, who pleaded not guilty in the case, and the other men were dismissed last year after Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said there was not enough evidence to convict them when courts blocked the use of video surveillance footage of the alleged crimes.

But charges against the women who worked at the spa were not dropped.

All four women reached plea deals with prosecutors in recent months, and have had to pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees.

According to the Associated Press, Orchids of Asia owner Hua Zhang, 59, pleaded guilty in November to two misdemeanor charges, while Lei Wang, 41, and Shen Mingbi, 60, each pleaded guilty to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution. The fourth woman, Lei Chen, 45, pleaded guilty in February to eight counts of offering to commit prostitution.

The guilty pleas included hefty fines.

According to court documents seen by Reason.com, Mingbi was ordered to forfeit $20,000 to the Jupiter Police Department and pay $6,573 in fines and fees. Wang was ordered to pay $5,623, while Zhang was ordered to pay $6,661 in fines and fees. It's unclear if the fourth woman, Lei Chen, 45, has been fined.

Kraft's life, meanwhile, has mostly returned to normal: He still owns the Patriots, and last year he was recorded dancing with Jamie Foxx and Jon Bon Jovi in the Hamptons, and ate at an official state dinner with President Donald Trump in Qatar.

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