Kraft Getting Shaft

Robert Kraft has been offered a plea deal on charges of soliciting prostitution. There are a lot of angry comments suggesting this is somehow a sweetheart deal for Kraft because he’s rich and famous. Here are two examples:

They’re wrong. Aronberg, a Democrat in a Democratic county, is not doing Republican Trump any favors. And for those who think the Patriots owner is getting a break because of football, this is Dolphins territory.

Kraft is not getting a sweetheart deal. He’s getting screwed because he’s rich and famous. A high-profile arrest of a celebrity is often treated by prosecutors like Dave Aronberg as an opportunity to grandstand. The average Joe often gets off lightly because there’s no publicity value in going after them and if prosecutors were this aggressive on every case it would be too much work and would clog the court system.

I’ll get to the details of Kraft’s case shortly, but the best example I can think of in the past was Giants wide receiver and SuperBowl hero Plaxico Burress. As a Giants fan I have to include this video on the off chance any Patriots fans are reading this.

He accidentally shot himself in NYC and was prosecuted for criminal possession of a handgun.

As a NY defense lawyer I represented many people for criminal possession of a handgun. Not one of them did any jail time. The typical deal was a reduction to a non-criminal violation and a fine. In some cases they’d be able to get the gun back.

Burress was targeted by anti-gun NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and ultimately got a 2-year prison sentence.

Something similar is happening with Kraft, though fortunately Kraft faces nowhere near the same potential penalty.

According to NBC News:

Kraft … would have [the] charges dropped in exchange for … conceding that [he] would have been found guilty, completing 100 hours of community service per charge, taking an education course on prostitution, undergoing a screening for sexually transmitted diseases, and paying $5,000 per charge.

$5000? The maximum fine for the offense is $1000, maybe $2000 since they charged him with two counts. While the offense carries a potential penalty of a year in jail, that never happens on a first offense misdemeanor like this. We rarely see any jail time for repeat offenders on low-level felonies. So why would Kraft have to pay $5000 per charge?

Of course Kraft is a billionaire so paying $5000 or $10,000 is nothing if it makes the case go away.

Just for comparison we looked at some recent cases we have seen in Palm Beach County. First of all it’s rare to see men charged with the first degree misdemeanor as Kraft is here. Usually they are charged with a second degree misdemeanor which has a lower fine.

The first degree offense may fit, but we often see regular people charged at a lower level. It’s common for repeat suspended drivers to keep getting charged at the misdemeanor level even after the third offense which makes it a felony. A few years ago we reported on Aronberg going easy on suspended drivers.

Here’s an example of a deferred prosecution agreement that was reached for one of the Johns arrested in the 2014 prostitution sting we covered.

He faced the same charge Kraft faces. He had a minor criminal history (driving while suspended). He paid $50 cost of prosecution. No fine. No $5000 charge. The charge against him was dropped – “Nolle Prosse”. Notice that the community service box is not checked off. He did have to do the PIPE class – Prostitution Impact Prevention Education – that is mentioned for Kraft. No jail. No probation.

Another man arrested in that 2014 sting had a similar result:

Same charge. Same $50 cost of prosecution. This guy had to also do STD testing and there’s a note about “no new crimes/offenses.” Same nolle prosse. You can see that 10 hours of community service was on the form but crossed out. 10 hours, not 100, and that was dropped. No jail. No probation.

In a more recent case, a defendant we covered was arrested this January for falsely reporting about a crash. He denied being the driver. This is a crime of dishonesty. It can really matter for insurance and for persons who may have been harmed or for property damage. It’s a second degree misdemeanor.

He got pretrial diversion and paid $100 for “cost of prosecution.” That’s it. Another average Joe got off easy.

So for all those who think Kraft is getting a deal, it’s a raw deal.

What I hope happens in this case is Kraft’s attorney resolves it with the judge, who should wisely disregard Aronberg’s nonsense. Kraft could plead “No Contest”, get a “withhold adjudication” (so it’s not officially a conviction) and pay a fine of perhaps $500 or $1000 plus some costs.


On the lighter side of this story, the arrest reports indicate that Kraft was charged for two incidents one day and then the next. On day one he showed up at the massage parlor driving a “2014 White Bentley.” The next day he showed up in a “2015 blue Bentley.”

So he has two Bentleys, or more than two, in Florida. A Bentley typically costs $300,000 or more. He lives in Boston. Does have more Bentleys in Massachusetts? Does he have them trucked down for season? This gives you some idea how much money a billionaire has. Kraft has a reported net worth of $6.6 billion.

West Barking Arrest Report

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We have a few arrests to report this week, all by the Pug Beach Sheriff’s Office. On the far left and most serious, Mickey “Claws” Kibblinsky (age 8) faces three feliny counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon along with trespassing and other charges. Kibblinsky allegedly snuck into the dog park and picked fights with multiple small breeds. He was arrested Sunday evening and remains in custody pending review by a psychiatric veterinary specialist.
In the most prurient of the incidents, Kitty Yarnchaser (11) was caught up in a prostitution sting. According to court documents Ms. Yarnchaser ran a massage parlor that offered additional inappropriate services to customers. Unlike past incidents we’ve covered, Yarnchaser was aiming for wealthier Johns by locating her “studio” in the Rescue shopping plaza at Cat Moore Road and 441.
Snotty McTabby (2nd from right, 7) was arrested for having a suspended pet license. As usual he has a long history of past offenses that were mostly dropped by Pug County prosecutor Dave Arondog. The Catty Springs native and resident of Barking Grove was released without bond.
Last in our report, Shaggy Whiskers (far right, 4) was arrested Tuesday night on charges of catnip possession with intent to sell. A graduate of Coral Sunset Obedience School and resident of Watercat Estates, aka the Sandal Paw trailers, Whiskers has had several previous catnip cases in both Pug Beach and Breeder counties.

Batmasian Connected to Massage Prostitution Arrests

batmasianThanks to a reader tip, West Boca News has learned and confirmed that James Batmasian is connected to the O’Asian Massage Spa prostitution story.
Two of Batmasian’s companies, Glades St. Andrews One LLC and Glades St. Andrews Two LLC, are listed by the property appraiser as the owners of the building where the spa is located, 2499 Glades Road (on the northeast corner of Glades and St. Andrews).
SunBiz.org shows Batmasian as the Managing Member of the corporations.


asian-2A successful businessman, investor and property developer, Batmasian has had a couple of run-ins with the law in the past. Back in 2006 it was reported by Broward/Palm Beach New Times and the Palm Beach Post (via Newsvine) that he may have been a customer of a Boca brothel.
In 2008 he pled guilty to tax evasion, per the Sun-Sentinel, and that put him in the Miami Herald this week because he was set to host a campaign fundraiser for Governor Scott. Mitt Romney caught heat in 2012 for Batmasian’s attendance at the infamous West Boca fundraiser with the 47% remark.
Since Batmasian owns a lot of properties, it’s certainly possible he was unaware of the activities going on inside the O’Asian Massage Spa. It’s only one of many tenants.
Then again, considering his connection to the 2006 brothel, some might think he knew.
We’re mainly disappointed that we weren’t able to do more with his role as managing member. There’s a pun in there somewhere.

Massage Arrests Fell Asia O

Boca Raton Police made three arrests on Friday accusing the O’Asian Massage Spa of prostitution.

The arrestees include Xiaoqin Li, Exian Zheng and Yan Lin. The police say they were tipped off by a complaint.
We did our own investigation and found that the spa listed on some websites that might suggest they offer more than just a massage.
On WestPalmBeach.BackPage.com, we found some pictures that look more sexy than massage oriented.

These young women above look quite a bit younger than the three who were arrested, so perhaps the misleading ads motivated a complaint.

The investigative report indicates that the ad had more suggestive pictures in the past.
But the bigger hint was the listing for erotic massage on RubMap.com.
When you have fifty reviews on a website that has “happy ending” in the top left corner (dare we say the header?), there’s a good chance something naughty is going on. The police also reviewed the RubMaps listing.

Perhaps more disturbing is the lengths to which Boca PD went in order to pull off this sting. From the 12-page report we reviewed the investigation took a year or longer and dates back to a complaint allegedly made over two years ago. Twelve customers were subjected to traffic stops from June of last year through May of this year. Surveillance of the business began in January of 2013.
They went so far as to get a warrant to secretly install cameras inside the massage parlor and filmed the massages.
When you consider what went into this investigation, all to charge three women with non-violent offenses, you begin to understand why there aren’t enough resources in South Florida to arrest and prosecute violent criminals.
O’Asian Massage Spa is (or was) located on the northeast corner of St. Andrews and Glades, which is in the looser definitions of West Boca:

Following on a reader request, here is the Complaint Affidavit.

Video: The Publix Prostitution Sting

We contacted the Sheriff and requested video from the arrests in the Sandalfoot Publix prostitution sting. Earlier we posted more details from the undercover prostitution operation.
There was some initial resistance over “active investigations.” The Sheriff’s office finally agreed to release the video to us from the case of Ruben Colon, whose case is already resolved and thus no longer active. We’re not thrilled with what they gave us as it’s very short:

It’s hard to hear on the video what police claim to have happened in the probable cause affidavit:
affidavit
It sounds like they’ve obscured the undercover officer’s voice so we only hear clipped statements by the defendant. We do hear him saying something that sounds like it might be $15 for fun sex and everything.
On the bright side for Mr. Colon, he negotiated the best bargain. Others agreed to as much as $100.
West Boca News is not satisfied with this disclosure from the Sheriff. We understand obscuring the image of the undercover officer, and in fact we voluntarily obscured the names of all officers involved. The video of the incident has to be longer than the 50 seconds shown here. In addition, we learned that another of the defendants has resolved his case with “pre-trial diversion.” That video should now be made available as well.
sturley-disposed
If and when we find out more, we will let our readers know.