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New England Patriots

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01: Robert Kraft, owner and CEO of the New England Patriots, attends NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's press conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 01: Robert Kraft, owner and CEO of the New England Patriots, attends NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Robert Kraft may be preparing to negotiate a deal to pay for his alleged crimes, but he may not have enough of a fight to stop the most embarrassing part of it.

ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn recently spoke to sources who have seen the alleged video evidence of Kraft soliciting prostitution at a Jupiter, Fla. day spa. He asserts that the video will eventually see the light of day, one way or another.

Quinn tweeted on Monday that his sources say the man in the video is “unquestionably” the Patriots owner and that he is not expected to dispute the charges. As of Tuesday, Kraft is being charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail, a $5,000 fine, 100 hours of community service, and a class on the negative effects of human trafficking.

A Video To Spark A Debate

Despite all that, Quinn also believes Kraft would likely “plea down” the charges to avoid anything approaching the max penalty. Either way, he is expecting the apparent video of Kraft committing the misdemeanor to be released – but it would be edited to censor the parts he described as “graphic”.

It’s likely that the video contains every detail contained in an affidavit released to reporters on Monday, which describes each step of Kraft’s two alleged visits to Orchids of Asia in Jupiter. The document places Kraft at the establishment on the day before and day of the AFC Championship Game, which he attended as the Patriots beat the Chiefs to advance to Super Bowl LIII.

Media outlets like TMZ will likely do whatever they can to obtain it themselves – before the graphic parts are removed. Although the alleged video would contain Kraft committing a crime, a release of the full, unedited clip would spark debates over the public’s need to see every lurid detail of the alleged acts.

SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 10: Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots football team and chief executive officer of the Kraft Group, arrives at the Sun Valley Resort for the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference. Every July, some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful business people in media, finance, technology and political spheres converge at the Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive week-long conference. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

SUN VALLEY, ID – JULY 10: Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots football team and chief executive officer of the Kraft Group, arrives at the Sun Valley Resort for the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference. Every July, some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful business people in media, finance, technology and political spheres converge at the Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive week-long conference. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

It’s an embarrassing case for Kraft in the court of public opinion, one that may irreparably damage his national and international reputation regardless of how he handles it moving forward. But an uncensored release of the video would arguably only serve to further embarrass him, and do little to enlighten the public any more than an edited version would. Despite the video’s involvement in a larger criminal investigation, matters of journalistic ethics would still hold weight.

Where Does Kraft Go From Here?

Kraft has reportedly hired West Palm Beach-area defense attorney Jack Goldberger, according to ESPN’s Michele Steele. Goldberger notably worked on the defense team for New York financier Jeffrey Epstein, who in 2008 pleaded guilty to soliciting a 14-year-old girl for prostitution as part of a plea deal. He served 13 months in prison and was forced to register as a sex offender.

Unlike Kraft – who is only being charged with solicitation that happened to be part of an investigation into a globe-spanning sex trafficking operation – Epstein faced more serious charges. Many viewed his ultimate punishment as a small price to pay for his alleged crimes, which involved dozens of victims and the possibility of life in federal prison.

Barring unforeseen information, Kraft’s case won’t rise nearly to that level. At the end of the day, his biggest penalty may come from the NFL and the most damage would be to his public image. But hiring a lawyer from Epstein’s defense team is a possible sign that he plans to fight this vigorously, or at least aggressively negotiate a deal. Unfortunately for him, he may not be able to stop the video from ever becoming public.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.