Tag Archives: New England Patriots

Twisting The Law? Deputies Urge Woman To Say She Was Trafficked

(STUART, Fla. (AP) The Chinese masseuse shrinks into her chair as the Florida sheriff’s detective tells her deputies installed hidden cameras in her spa’s ceiling. He knows she and other women had sex with men for money.

But you can save yourself, Martin County Detective Mike Fenton and others tell her. We will give you an apartment. We will provide food and education. We will bring your children to the United States. Just tell us you are a human-trafficking victim and testify against your captors.

Over four hours, the masseuse would see three investigators, two social workers and a translator. A video-recording of her interview was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records  request. The AP is not naming the woman because she might be a victim of a sex crime.

The outcome of her interview would help determine whether Martin County could prove the owners of five massage parlors its deputies raided are not just pimps, but human traffickers holding women against their will.

The operation was part of a multi-county crackdown that drew international attention when New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with paying for sex in neighboring Palm Beach County, one of 300 men overall.

Martin Sheriff William Snyder strongly believes the women are trafficking victims but needs a masseuse to testify against her bosses to get convictions. That could start a cascade of charges that eat away at the national network of massage parlor-based
traffickers Snyder believes exists.

”We as a nation should have a collective sense of shame,” he said. ”In the land of the free, thousands of women have no freedom.”

Maybe this woman would be the one to flip.

DROPPING THE HAMMER

The masseuse sits in an interrogation room, hidden cameras again peering from the ceiling. She is 36 and slight, with black hair hanging to her waist. She wears a pink top, jeans and sneakers, her glasses too big for her face. Fenton sits to her right. Across a
small table is Damian Spotts, a Mandarin-speaking police officer, and a female translator. The woman had been detained hours earlier during a February raid involving Cove Day Spa, a strip-mall parlor.

A Chinese national, the masseuse tells Fenton she has a work visa and has applied for political asylum. She worked at an Alabama massage parlor before moving to spas on Florida’s Gulf Coast. She drove to Martin County on the east coast 15 days earlier.

Fenton soon drops the hammer: We installed cameras.

”We know what goes on in the spa. It is not just massages,” he tells her. ”I know this is not the funnest thing to talk about, but we know this is what happens. I don’t think this is the kind of work you want.”

He assures her she is not in trouble – yet. But we must know: Are you forced to prostitute yourself?

No, she responds, shaking her head.

Would someone be angry if you quit? No.

Then why do it?

She pauses, then responds softly, ”I don’t know.”

”You know. You are intelligent,” Fenton says. ”The reason why you got into this line of work is because somebody told you about it. Is this your dream job?”

She says she does it to support relatives in China. Would they be proud? She doesn’t know.

”I don’t think you found this all on your own,” Fenton says. He leaves her with Spotts and the translator.

LEGAL CHALLENGES

The misdemeanor solicitation cases against the men seemed airtight at first, but many, including Kraft’s, are crumbling.

Judges found the search warrants flawed and barred the videos’ use. If those decisions survive appeal, many cases will likely be dismissed. Trafficking charges against some owners might still be possible, but only if a victimized masseuse testifies.

”Unless you have an adult victim saying what would rise legally to force, fraud or coercion, you don’t have a case even though there is circumstantial evidence” of trafficking, like women living inside the spas, said Shea Rhodes, a former prosecutor and director of the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual
Exploitation.

WILL SHE FLIP?

After Fenton leaves, the masseuse tells Spotts the sex wasn’t prostitution. It happened after the massage for no extra charge.

Deputy Heather Hegeman enters and tells the woman she can stay at a safe house, but she wants to return to the spa owner’s condo where she has been living. Hegeman says OK, but the sheriff plans to seize it soon. The woman admits she’s worried the owners will think she ratted.

After Hegeman leaves, a victims advocate enters, explaining she is not a cop.

”We have a house set up. We have therapists set up. We have medical attention if she needs it,” she tells the translator. ”Food, clothing. We have all of that, but she has to tell me she is doing this against her will.”

The masseuse pauses but finally says she wants to call a friend.

Hegeman returns with the woman’s phone to get her friend’s number – and learns the phone’s passcode, so detectives can search it. She shows everyone photos of her children, ages 9 and 11.

”They are so beautiful,” Hegeman says.

Hegeman leaves and the masseuse becomes animated. She repeatedly tells Spotts she is not a victim but complains she is being treated ike a criminal.

”There’s no way I can cooperate with you,” she says. She wants a lawyer.

The masseuse, Spotts and the translator sit silently for 30 minutes before Blanca Chang, who works for an anti-trafficking organization, arrives. Chang explains she is a Guatemalan immigrant and tells the Chinese woman that American detectives can’t
comprehend what immigrants endure, ”where you feel like you are forced to do certain things.”

The woman says she doesn’t trust authorities. Chang understands – Guatemalans don’t trust them, either.

”I’m not the police. I don’t work for the government,” she said. The masseuse swivels in her chair and cries.

Chang tells her the raid ”was very bad luck. Good luck, too. Otherwise you would be suffering more. You were rescued.”

Spotts, after briefly leaving, asks Chang, ”She is still maintaining that she’s not a victim, right?”

Not quite, Chang says. She is not admitting it, but she isn’t denying it, either.

The masseuse gets her phone back. She won’t be charged.

Outside, her Uber awaits.

No Florida massage parlor owners have been charged with human trafficking.

 

Advertisements

Judge Stops Release Of Kraft Spa Videos

(Miami, FL-AP) — A judge is issuing an emergency order to keep prosecutors from releasing police videos, taken of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at a Florida spa. This afternoon the Palm Beach County State Attorney announced plans to share the videos publicly in a court filing citing Florida’s disclosure laws.

The videos allegedly show Kraft engaging in sex acts at a massage parlor on two occasions in January. But late today the judge in the case ruled the video should not be made public, and a hearing will be held in two weeks to discuss the matter further. The 77-year-old billionaire is charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution.

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Accused Of Soliciting Prostitute

(Jupiter, FL-AP) – Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, faces charges of soliciting a prostitute after he was twice videotaped in a sex act at a shopping-center massage parlor in Florida, police said Friday. The 77-year-old Kraft denied any wrongdoing. The charge comes amid a crackdown on sex trafficking from Palm Beach to Orlando in which police planted cameras in massage parlors.
Kraft was not immediately arrested. Jupiter police said a warrant will be issued and his attorneys will be notified. They said details about the charges against the owner of the Super Bowl champion team will not be released until next week.
Hundreds of arrest warrants have been issued in recent days as a result of the six-month investigation, and more are expected. Ten spas have been closed, and several people have been taken into custody on sex trafficking charges. Jupiter police Chief Daniel Kerr said he was shocked to learn that Kraft, who is worth $6 billion, was paying for sex inside a shopping-center massage parlor, the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. ”We are as equally stunned as everyone else,” Kerr said.
Most people charged for the first time with soliciting a prostitute in Florida are allowed to enter a diversion program, said attorney David Weinstein, a former prosecutor. Kraft would probably have to perform 100 hours of community service and attend a course on the harmful effects of prostitution and sex trafficking, he said.
The arrest could also get Kraft in trouble with the NFL, which in a statement said only that it is ”aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”Under league policy, players, owners, coaches and other employee scan be punished for ”conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL.”Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline,” the policy says.The Patriots won the Super Bowl this month over the Los Angeles Rams for their sixth NFL championship in the past 18 seasons,making them the most successful team in pro sports during that span.
Before the Super Bowl, several retired NFL players appeared in a public service announcement decrying sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Atlanta, the host city.Kraft lives in Massachusetts and has a home in the Palm Beach area.Though he is a Democrat, he is friendly with President Donald Trump and a frequent guest at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. Kraft’s wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011.
He has been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander since 2012.”Well it’s very sad. I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence, totally,” Trump said at the White House on Friday.In a statement, Kraft’s representatives said they ”categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.”The spa Kraft allegedly visited is in a busy, upper-middle-class shopping center with neighbors that include a dentist, a real estate office, surf and bike shops and a Publix supermarket. After hearing about the arrest, Brian Rubino, a Patriot fan who lives nearby, went by the spa wearing a team jersey. He said Kraft made a mistake, but he could see how it might happen.”A 77-year-old man, lost his wife, who knows? I see how you can end up in a place like this,” Rubino said.
Vero Beach police Chief David Currey, whose agency has been involved in the sex-trafficking investigation, told reporters earlier this week that the prostitutes are victims who have been trapped into the trade.”These girls are there all day long, into the evening. They can’t leave and they are performing sex acts,” Currey said, according to TC Palm. ”Some of them may tell us they’re OK, but they’re not.”The owner of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, 58-year-old Hua Zhang, was arrested Tuesday on 29 prostitution and related charges.
Her attorney, Gennaro Cariglio Jr., had no comment.Kraft, who made his initial fortune through a packaging company,bought the Patriots in 1994 for $172 million to keep the team from moving to St. Louis. He hired Bill Belichick as coach in 2000, and the team later drafted quarterback Tom Brady, launching its nearly two decades of success.In 2007, the Patriots got in trouble for filming other teams’signals. The NFL fined the team $250,000 and Belichick $500,000. In 2014, Brady was accused of deflating game footballs to gain a better grip. He served a four-game suspension, and the Patriots were fined$1 million.Kraft was not implicated in either scandal.

 

Brady And Belichick Grab 6th Super Bowl Win

(Atlanta, GA) – Super Bowl 53 was underwhelming if you were looking for a high scoring game.  If you were focusing on defense, you were pleased.  Either way you play it, a win is a win and you won’t hear any complaints from Tom Brady or Bill Belichick after the Patriots defeated the Rams 13-3 giving the duo their 6th Super Bowl win which now ties the Steelers for the most. N

usatsi_12105706_1Brady 21/35 for 262 yards and no TDs while Jared Goff 19/38 for 229 yards and no TDs.  At halftime, the score was 3-0 Patriots.   The only TD would come from a short drive by Sony Michel set up by a catch from Rob Gronkowski.

USP NFL: SUPER BOWL LIII-NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS L S FBN USA GAIt’s the lowest scoring game in Super Bowl history. And some are saying it was the most boring as well.  The same sentiments were shared for the halftime show as well leaving the commercials standing alone in the he Super Bowl 53 highlight mentions.

Another highlight, New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman grabbed MVP honors catching 10 passes for 141 yards.  He’s now one of seven receivers to win Super Bowl MVP.

Pats Send 7th Grade Female QB To Super Bowl

(Foxborough, Mass) – Dejah Rondeau is in for a treat. The seventh grade female QB is getting the dream of a lifetime courtesy of the New England Patriots. She’s going to Super Bowl LIII!
Dejah, who learned she was headed to the big game while playing catch with her favorite player, Julian Edelman, (who she wears #11 in honor of) says she never in a million years thought that she would go to a Super Bowl and that she was Super Happy.

The good news comes after the Exeter, New Hampshire pre-teen was having a difficult time with her peers who were bullying her for playing quarterback on a youth football team.
After hearing about the trouble, the Pats invited Dejah to Foxborough to meet Julian Edelman and team owner Robert Kraft. It was during that visit that Edelman surprised her with a pair of tickets to Super Bowl 53.
No word yet on who Dejah plans to take to the game with her but it will more than likely be her dad. Dejah is one of 3 girls playing youth football in her town.

 

It’s Super Bowl LIII And That No Call That Cost The Saints A Trip To The Big Game Is Still Fresh On Reggie Bush’s Mind

(Atlanta, GA) – We’re four days away from Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta Georgia and people are still waiting to see what the NFL and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are going to do about the double penalty that cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the big game.  Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman says he will pay the fine for the helmet to helmet hit he put on Saints’ WR Tommylee lewis, but that’s hardly what Saints fans and former players want to hear.

If Robey-Coleman has been fined, then clearly a penalty should’ve been in place.  Granted the refs have admitted that they missed both calls, helmet-to-helmet and pass interference, but there’s been no reversal of the no-call and the Saints are still in New Orleans while the Rams prepare to take on the Patriots Sunday for Super Bowl 53.

Former NFL baller and NFL Network Analyst Reggie Bush says neither one of those refs deserve to be working in the NFL and that he’s anxious to see what Roger Goodell is going to do.

 

Former NFL Offensive Lineman Kenyatta Jones Dead At 39

(Colorado) – Sad news out of Colorado as reports confirm that 39 year Kenyatta Jones has died of cardiac arrest. The former NFL OL was the first player in USF history to be drafted.

He was a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in the 2001 NFL Draft. Playing in a limited role, appearing in five games and starting none, Jones was a member of the Patriots team that won Super Bowl XXXVI for its first-ever triumph in the NFL’s biggest game. The next season, Jones’ role with the Patriots would expand, as he played in 13 games and started 11.

Jones was then picked up by the Washington Redskins, but saw no playing time during the 2003 season. He would play his final NFL season the next year, playing in three games for the Redskins with two starts. Jones would also play for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League and the New York Sentinels of the United Football League before his pro football career came to a close. Jones played in a total of 21 NFL games during his career. Friends say Jones, who was 6 feet 3 and 307 pounds while playing in the NFL,was just a fun-loving guy, like a gentle giant,” former South Florida teammate Keith Williams told the Tampa Bay Times. “But on that field, he took care of business.”

Eagles Beat Pats In Super Bowl 52 Behind Monster Offensive Performance

(Minneapolis, MN) – The Philadelphia Eagles’ flight from last to first ended up with a Lombardi Trophy.In a record-setting shootout between Nick Foles and Tom Brady, the backup quarterback led a pressure-packed 75-yard drive to the winning touchdown, 11 yards to Zach Etrz with 2:21 to go. The game’s MVP says he kept his focus on that go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
180204220914-39-super-bowl-2018-super-169
“I didn’t switch my mindset. I wasn’t worried about the scoreboard. I wasn’t worried about the time. I was just playing ball. I think sometimes you start worrying about that so much it starts creeping in your brain. I was just playing. Whatever play Doug called, I was going to to rip it.”
Then a defense that had been shredded throughout the second half made two final stands to win 41-33.Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady and Derek Barnett recovered,setting up rookie Jake Elliot’s 46-yard field goal for an 8-point lead.
Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Then Brady got his team to midfield before his desperation pass fell to the ground in the end zone.It was the first Super Bowl title for Philadelphia, which went from 7-9 last season to its first NFL crown since 1960.
Foles orchestrated it with the kind of drive NFL MVP Brady, a five-time champion, is known for. It covered 75 yards on 14 plays,and had to survive a video replay because Ertz had the ball pop into the air as he crossed the goal line.
super-bowl-tom-brady-fumble-brandon-graham-sack-video
Foles finished throwing for 373 yards, three touchdowns and one interception to earn MVP honors.  The Eagles averaged 6.1 yards per rush on their way to 164 yards on the ground.  Brady broke his own Super Bowl record throwing for 505 yards.  He also tossed three TDs.

Aaron Hernandez Had Severe Case Of CTE

(SL)  – A researcher says Aaron Hernandez suffered the most severe case of CTE she’s evediscovered in a person his age, damage that would have significantly impacted his decision-making, judgment and cognition.

462CC40500000578-5067567-Pieces_of_Aaron_Hernandez_s_brain_in_the_Boston_University_lab-a-32_1510260342317

Dr. Ann McKee, the head of the CTE Center at Boston University, called Hernandez’s brain “one of the most significant contributions to our work” because of its pristine condition. Doctors diagnosed Hernandez with Stage 3 CTE, which researchers hadnever seen in a brain younger than 46 years old, McKee said.
His brain had significant damage to the front lobe, which impacts a person’s ability to make decisions and moderate behavior.
The Daily Mail reports, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by repeated hits to the head.  Over time, these hard impacts result in confusion, depression, dementia, explosiveness, aggression, and suicidal thoughts.
462CC3ED00000578-5067567-Worst_case_of_CTE_These_scans_show_how_Aaron_Hernandez_s_brain_w-a-35_1510260368487
Researchers are still unclear on how CTE affects behavior, but a growing swell of studies is offering some answers.
  • CTE sufferers have clumps of tau protein built up in the frontal lobe, which controls emotional expression and judgment (similar to dementia)
  • This interrupts normal functioning and blood flow in the brain, disrupting and killing nerve cells
  • By stage 3 – i.e. Hernandez’s stage – the tau deposits expand from the frontal lobe (at the top) to the temporal lobe (on the sides). This affects the amygdala and the hippocampus, which controls emotion and memory
The disgraced star had a $41 million NFL contract when he was arrested at his home in June 2013 and charged with the murder of a semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
c455a3320ea5a9378e1642e5ba1180a8
Lloyd was the boyfriend of Hernandez’s fiancee’s sister. He was found dead in an industrial park on June 17, 2013, riddled with bullets. Surveillance footage showed Hernandez at the scene an hour before, then arriving at home minutes after gunshots were fired.
In April 2015, Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison. While in prison, Hernandez was charged with another killing – a double murder committed by a drive-by shooting. But in April this year, he was acquitted of both charges.  The next day, he took his own life.
His family has since filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the Patriots on behalf of Hernandez’s four-year-old daughter Avielle, claiming the club and the league knew about the connections between football and CTE long before Hernandez was drafted.

 

Aaron Hernandez’ Lawyers File Another Lawsuit Against NFL

(SL) – Lawyers for late New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez are filing another lawsuit against the NFL.
 
They filed suit in a Massachusetts state court yesterday against the league and against the company that makes their helmets, alleging they didn’t appropriately handle Hernandez’ brain injuries.
 
Unlike the Hernandez family’s lawsuits in federal court, this one doesn’t name the Patriots organization.
 

Hernandez was still serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013, but his suicide made Hernandez a legally innocent man as he died during an appeal process.

aaron-hernandez-t1

In September, the former New England Patriot player’s lawyer Jose Baez announced brain scans by the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center found Hernandez had advanced stage 3 CTE, otherwise known as the degenerative brain disease common in retired football players and linked to suicide and depression.

The lawyers’ case against the state alleges the NFL hid knowledge on the true dangers of football, naming Illinois-based helmet maker Riddell.

The company, founded in 1929, told the Associated Press it plans to vigorously defend its products and reputation in wake of the new lawsuit, as well as any other concussion-related lawsuits.