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Details emerge on Patriots owner Robert Kraft Florida charges

Florida Football Insiders

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Monday afternoon more details and specifics were revealed in the sensational story of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and charges of him soliciting prostitution in South Florida in January.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney, David Aronberg, met with the media Monday afternoon and laid out the formal complaint against the 77-year old owner of the most successful franchise in the NFL in this century:

It is the first time that specifics have been revealed about what Kraft is alleged to have done with even more intrigue about when he did it. 

That’s because the “charging document” from the Jupiter Police Department says the Kraft visited “The Orchids of Asia” massage parlor shortly before 11 a.m. on Sunday morning January 20th.

If that date sounds familiar, it’s because the New England Patriots were playing the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City later that evening.

Aronberg confirmed to reporters that the date in question is correct. And that, Kraft was seen on video surveillance having gone into the massage parlor, paid cash and then having one of the workers engage him in oral sex on a massage table in a private room.

In addition to the video surveillance, an undercover Jupiter police detective verified Kraft’s presence in the massage parlor by witnessing him exit it into his waiting automobile and verifying him through his license tag.

It’s unclear as to why Kraft wasn’t arrested at that time, but it may be because, the detectives involved did not have a live feed to know exactly what had been going on with which defendants, as they came and went into the massage parlor. That could be determined later by reviewing the video.

As we reported late last week, the Jupiter police got a warrant to install the video surveillance in the massage parlor on January 15th and surveilled it for five days from January 18th through the 22nd. Aronberg further detailed that there were warrants issued for 25 different individuals, who had either already been arrested or they were actively seeking their arrest.

While Kraft is by far the most prominent individual caught in the sting, he was not the only noteworthy one:

Boston billionare equity firm investor, John Childs, was also charged in Vero Beach, as part of the investigation. Like Kraft, he was not arrested.

And the boyfriend of LPGA golfer Jessica Korda, Johnny Delprete, who is a former professional golfer, as well, was arrested on Friday morning on the same charges.

Interestingly, because Kraft is a resident of Palm Beach County, he does not have to appear in court for the solicitation charge coming up. It’s also unclear as to if and how, Kraft will be taken into custody on the charges.

The NFL released another statement on Monday where they again reaffirmed taking these charges against the Patriots owner seriously, and that he is subject to the NFL personal conduct policy.

As we previously detailed, the league suspended Colts owner Jim irsay for 6 games and fined him $500,00 dollars in 2014 after he pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and prescription drug charges.

Kraft has yet to give any kind of public statement about the solicitation charges against him, but was spotted this weekend at a “Pre-Oscars” party on Saturday in Beverly Hills California by the gossip site TMZ.

The crackdown can Jupiter and in other areas of South Florida is a multi-jurisdictional one between Palm Beach County authorities and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

One of the main focuses is on human trafficking. This as, authorities have detailed that most of the employees of the “Orchids of Asia Massage parlor were essentially sex slaves that were being forced to live, and even sleep on the massage tables themselves, in addition to working there.

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Time for concern after XFL TV ratings declined again last week?

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive week, the XFL televison ratings continued to slide in the wrong direction. And, the troubling part is that if the trend continues, the XFL will have no leverage for sponsors and revenue to keep it going long term.

First, here are the specifics on the bad viewership news: According to Showbuzzdaily.com all four XFL broadcasts last Saturday and Sunday afternoon had lower ratings in their slot than the previous week.

That includes the Tampa Bay Vipers home debut against Houston, which was the early game on ABC Saturday. And, while that window had 400,000 less viewers than week 2, the bigger concern is ABC has lost almost 40% of the audience from the 3.3 million average that watched their Week one debut game on Saturday afternoon.

The ratings downward trend is following the same pattern as last Spring’s Alliance of American Football, where the ratings dwindled to under a million fans for broadcasts by week five and eventually the league shut down after just eight weeks. This was in part because of concerns on how the AAF could make any revenue, through television in specific, if they had very little audience for the end of year one and to sell off of for year two.

Now, WWE owner Vince McMahon, who folded the XFL the first time in 2001 in large part because the television audience plummeted over the course of the first month or so of its existence and never recovered, has the same issue in 2020.

And, as we wrote previously, this audience decline while negative is far less McMahon’s original XFL and it’s first season of 2001.  That’s when, it debuted on its first Saturday night on NBC with a massive 10.1 rating, which translated 18 years ago to more than 9.5 viewers on network TV. A Smashing success.

However, the XFL’s ratings plummeted starting the following week and had fewer than 25% of that opening night audience just a month later with the games still being shown on a Saturday night coveted slot on NBC. It doomed the league from a P.R. and sponsor standpoint and McMahon pulled the plug.

Now, in 2020, McMahon reportedly has money to burn and is apparently prepared to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in year one. So, even if the XFL TV ratings continue come down significantly, it will not spell the end of the XFL (like it did nearly 20 years ago) after just a single season.

At least, that’s what we think.

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Vipers better but drop third straight game in home opener

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Mary Holt- USA Today Sports

Although their play was improved offensively, in the end it wasn’t enough for the Tampa Bay Vipers after they dropped their third straight XFL game to start the season 34 – 27 to Houston Saturday afternoon in Tampa.

Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, as Houston scored early in the fourth quarter to go up by seven and held off the Viper the rest of the way.

The Vipers offense came to life after they had failed to score in the offensive touchdown in either of their first two games. Both of which were losses on the road. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius, subbing for starter Aaron Murray who missed his second straight game with an injured foot, once again had modest numbers 16-31 for 193 yards 1 TD, 1 INT.

However, he did pull the game even at 18 – 18 at the half after scoring on a one yard QB sneak and Tampa Bay got the two-point conversion.

Still, the former Oklahoma State quarterbacks day was inconsistent and the home crowd at Raymond James Stadium began to chant the name “Flowers, Flowers” for former USF Star Quarterback Quinton Flowers, who played sparingly for the third straight game in a reserve role.

Flowers got Tampa Bay’s first offensive TD on the young season with a seven yard run in the first quarter, but only played QB sparingly in the game, again. He was just 4-6 for 57 yards passing with 29 yards on six attempts on the ground.

Meanwhile, the former Temple star Walker found receiver Cam Phillips for the third of their three touchdown hookups from 17 yards out to give Houston a 34 – 27 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. Phillips devastated Jerry Glanville’s Vipers defense for 194 yards receiving on eight catches with the three TDs.

The Vipers look like they were going to have a chance to re-tie the game when Cornelius (above) completed a pass to his top target on the day, Jaylen Tolliver, at the two-yard line. However just like a week ago in Seattle when a critical fourth quarter drive stalled and Tampa Bay came away with no points in a 17 – 9 lost the Dragons, the Vipers got no points after Cornelius threw incomplete on second, third and fourth downs.

Many in the crowd and observers in the media were curious, as to why coach Marc Trestman didn’t go to Flowers as the dual threat running QB to at least try something different on one of those plays? Flowers even questioned why he did not play more after the game to the media.

The Vipers got the ball one final time, but Cornelius was picked off near midfield with just over a minute left to seal the defeat.

The Vipers played the first spring professional football game in Tampa, since the closing of the USFL 1985 season. That’s when Steve Spurrier’s Tampa Bay Bandits were a popular item at Old Tampa Stadium. Saturday’s home opener drew and announced crowd of 18,117.

However it’s little consolation for former Bears and CFL coach Trestman and his team, as they remain winless on the season. The L.A. Wildcats playing Sunday are the other 0-2 team in the league, currently.

And, you have to wonder whether Trestman will be forced to go to Flowers for the start when they host the D.C. Defenders next week.

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