Earlier this fall, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was able to dodge charges for allegedly getting some VIP extra-special services at a massage parlor in Florida. However, while he was able to take a walk from the scandal, the women who were named in the charges aren't as lucky.
Kraft was accused in 2019 — along with a group of other guys snared in an an anti-sex trafficking bust across the state — of engaging in illegal sex acts at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., but his lawyers got him off on the grounds that the surveillance footage used to try to prosecute him was illegally obtained and unconstitutional.
That's all fine and well for him, but the women involved with the sting are the ones paying the price. Three employees of the spa, including owner Hua Zhang and manager Lei Wang, accepted plea deals that call for one year of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine. The women pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count, with prosecutors dropping felony counts alleging that they were running a house of prostitution.
A third woman, Shen Mingbi, pleaded guilty to one count of soliciting to commit prostitution after her bank account was allegedly frozen and authorities took away her passport, according to a report from Rolling Stone magazine. She is on the hook to pay $20,000 to the city of Jupiter’s police department, plus $5,000 in other fees, according to court documents.
Kraft pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, but he did issue a public apology for his actions. The video in question, which police say shows him and other men engaging in sex acts for money, was captured through video cameras in the spa's lobby and rooms that were installed when the spa was evacuated under the excuse of a bogus bomb threat.
A judge eventually ruled that the warrant allowing the cameras’ installation didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who were there to receive legitimate/legal spa services.