Kraft’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The next hearing in the cases is now scheduled for April 9.
Kraft, 77, has denied allegations he twice paid attendants at a Jupiter, Fla., massage parlor for sex acts in January, incidents that police claim they have captured on videotape. The Patriots owner has declined to accept a plea offer made to him and other men charged as part of the sting, in which prosecutors would drop charges if he admitted a trial would find him guilty and completed community service.
In a written statement issued Saturday, Kraft said he is “truly sorry” and regrets having caused pain and disappointment for those around him as he referenced his wife, Myra, who died in 2011..
“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing,” Kraft said in the statement. “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 remains subject to potential discipline by the NFL under its personal conduct policy. That policy applies to owners and empowers NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to impose discipline, if he believes it is warranted, even if Kraft is not convicted of a crime.
“I think we said several weeks ago the personal conduct policy applies to everybody — commissioners, owners, executives, players, coaches,” Goodell said Tuesday in Phoenix after the NFL completed its annual league meeting. “And it will be applied to everybody. But it will be done after we get all the facts, we have all the information. And we will be fair, smart about it, and that’s what we’ll do.”
Goodell said the league will not necessarily be ready to rule immediately at the conclusion of Kraft’s legal proceedings.
“No, when we get all the facts,” he said. “And that includes everything that might be pertinent to this.”
The league suspended Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for six games and fined him $500,000 in 2014. Irsay had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after being arrested following a traffic stop. He told a judge that he was under the influence of painkillers when the traffic stop occurred.
Kraft attended the league meeting, which was held from Sunday to Tuesday at a Phoenix resort. He could be seen during breaks in the meetings speaking to Goodell and other owners. Some of those who interacted with him said that Kraft took a business-as-usual approach on football-related matters. Goodell refused to say whether Kraft addressed the owners as a group about his case, and he declined to give his personal opinion about Kraft’s actions.
“As I just told you, I think when we get all the information, we’ll make determinations,” Goodell said. “I’m not going to speculate on where we are or my views on anything.”