Patriots' owner may see happy ending in prostitution bust

First of all, as far as the headline goes, I apologize for nothing. I was exposed to the NY Post as a very young child and it left me with a lot of baggage.

The story at hand is the ongoing saga of Patriots owner Robert Kraft. After his massage exploits at a Florida strip mall parlor, Bob was left with a few things to explain to the police. There was talk of jail time and the trafficking of innocent young women. But now, after a series of discussions with his attorneys, it’s just possible that Kraft may plead his way out of this mess. Details from the aforementioned New York Post.

It may be another happy ending for Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Florida prosecutors are offering to drop their charges against him for allegedly paying for sex at a South Florida massage parlor, according to the Wall Street Journal.

To take advantage of the deal, Kraft and another two dozen men caught up in the sting must agree that they would have been found guilty at trial.

They would also have to do 100 hours of community service, submit to an STD test, take a class on prostitution and pay court fees.

If the judge in Florida really wanted to throw the book at Kraft (which sounds unlikely), the most he would have gotten was sixty days in jail and a $500 fine. Particularly if the sentence was going to come down to something like ten days, it might almost be better for him to fight it out and take the penalty. It’s not as if he couldn’t scrape 500 bucks off of his bar tab and suck it up for a couple of weeks in the slammer.

The question of whether anyone should be going to trial at all for this is another matter entirely. Personally, I still fail to see prostitution as much of a crime, though I know that reflects one of my more libertarian-leaning positions as opposed to how many social conservatives see it. Of course, that only applies if the people engaging in that type of career are doing so of their own free will. Kidnapping and trafficking women for that purpose should be punished harshly.

But if we’re going to have laws like these, it seems only fair that the men seeking out the “services” of these women face at least the same penalty. For too long, law enforcement seemed to push hard to bust the prostitutes, but let their clients off the hook with a wink and a nod. If we’re defining this as a crime, it’s only fair for both parties conspiring to commit the act to be treated the same.

When it comes to Kraft specifically, I can see the temptation for some to want him to be marched out in front of the cameras in leg irons. Society traditionally enjoys seeing the mighty being taken down a notch or two, as completely unfair as that might be. And it’s no doubt all the easier to feel that way when it’s the owner of the nationally despised Patriots franchise. But that doesn’t make it right. No fine or short stay at the county facility is going to do much to sink Robert Kraft. The real penalty may well come in the reaction from his actress/model wife (almost forty years his junior) after reading all about this on the front page of every paper in the country.

And when we consider the wife angle, perhaps it’s best that Kraft refuse the deal and take his chances in court. That way he can stick with his story that he was wrongly accused, is totally innocent and what have you. And if they lock him up for the full term, that’s two months where the Mrs. won’t be able to take a nine-iron to the back of his head while he’s sleeping.