We have reached the name-calling stage of the Robert Kraft legal drama.
Kraft’s attorney, William Burck, did an interview with USA Today on Wednesday night and called Martin County (Fla.) Sheriff Will Snyder a liar who is more interested in headlines than justice.
‘He lied. His officers lied.’
Burck pounced on something Snyder said during an interview with a West Palm Beach television station recently, when he admitted that the months-long investigation into a possible human trafficking ring that ensnared Kraft and hundreds of others might not actually be trafficking.
“It looks like trafficking. It feels like trafficking. It sounds like trafficking,” Snyder told WPTV. “I believe it is human trafficking. But we are just a little short to being able to prove that.”
“He lied about it,” Burck told USA Today’s A.J. Perez. “His officers lied about it. I don’t really know what to say. I’ve never seen anything quite like that before.”
The 77-year-old Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution tied to his visits to Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, which is in Palm Beach County.
But there is no evidence that any of the women he dealt with and paid for sexual services were victims of trafficking.
Kraft, through his attorney, entered a not guilty plea in Palm Beach County court on Tuesday and requested a jury trial.
‘They are supposed to be upholding the law’
In response to Burck, Snyder told USA Today that he has no regrets about linking the men arrested for solicitation to human trafficking — even though he can’t prove it’s a trafficking case.
“Zero [regrets] because it is sex trafficking. There are several women lower down [in the alleged operation] that could still cooperate,” Snyder said. “Notwithstanding that, this has the markings of a classic, unadulterated sex trafficking ring. Period.”
Snyder helped write Florida’s trafficking laws as a member of the state’s House of Representatives.
“They can get all the high-priced attorneys they want and scream and yell that the cops are the bad ones,” Snyder said. “But the cops weren’t the ones who were having ... sex in the spas.”
Burck says it’s dangerous to throw around accusations for headlines.
“He’s trying to hide behind it by saying they didn’t find enough evidence,” he said. “You don’t get on a soapbox and start accusing people of being involved in human trafficking and then, weeks later, say ‘never mind’ and think that’s the way you can get away with that.
“They are supposed to be upholding the law. They are supposed to be officers of justice, but instead he’s concocting false allegations against people in order to further headlines rather than justice. Sheriff Snyder said ‘the monsters are the men.’ Sheriff Snyder is the liar.”
Hearing scheduled for April 9
The next court date for Kraft is a hearing on April 9. He was in Phoenix this week for the NFL’s spring meetings, though he did not meet with media, as he usually does.
On Saturday, in advance of the meetings, Kraft released a statement:
“I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard. Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years [Kraft’s wife, Myra, died in 2011 after a battle with ovarian cancer].
“As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect.”
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