New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft holds the Vince Lombardi trophy after his team won the NFL Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams. Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP

MIAMI – Robert Kraft, owner of the reigning NFL Super Bowl champions New England Patriots and a friend of US President Donald Trump, was charged on Friday with soliciting another to commit prostitution, police in Jupiter, Florida, said.

The 77-year-old businessman, whose club beat the Los Angeles Rams earlier this month for their third title in five seasons, was charged in connection with an investigation into an illegal massage parlour operation, Jupiter police chief Daniel Kerr said.

There is video evidence of all 25 men being charged with solicitation, Kerr said, saying the police were surprised to discover Kraft among those frequenting the parlour.

“We’re as deeply stunned as anyone else,” Kerr said.

NBC News said a spokesperson for Kraft released a statement regarding the charges.

“We categorically deny that Mr Kraft engaged in any illegal activity,” it said.

“Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”

AFP