Michael Rubin defended his friend Robert Kraft during an event Wednesday, saying that the Patriots owner was a victim of law enforcement.
Rubin, a limited partner of the 76ers, also said prosecutors have "given up” trying to make a case that sex trafficking occurred at the day spa where Kraft, 77, was alleged to have visited.
Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla.
The charges, which came down in late February, were secured partially through video obtained by Jupiter police using secret cameras.
Kraft’s camp is claiming that video was “illegally secured," according to a court filing his legal team made last week. His lawyers said the prosecutor trumped up suggestions of sex trafficking to get cameras placed in the spa.
“Those ‘facts’ were false, and any suggestion of human trafficking being suspected was unfounded and irresponsible,” Jack Goldberger, Kraft’s Florida-based attorney, wrote in a filing last week, according to USA Today.
Rubin and Kraft are known to be friends. Kraft attended a Sixers game at the Wells Fargo Center with Allen Iverson a week after the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII in February — less than two weeks before the solicitation charges came out. Rubin also has emerged as an advocate for criminal-justice reform, especially after helping Philly native and rapper Meek Mill get released from prison on bail.
Rubin brought up his awareness about flaws in the criminal-justice system while defending Kraft, saying that Kraft had his eyes opened to reality.
“He was like me a year and a half ago; I thought the criminal justice system was perfect in 99.9 percent of the situations and today I recognize that it doesn’t work well in most situations,” Rubin told the moderator at a sports business conference being held in Southern California this week. “Not because they’re bad people; because the system is fundamentally broken.”
Rubin also compared Kraft’s treatment to what some professional athletes experience with law enforcement, alluding to the number of cases in which players allege they were racially profiled by police. Rubin said Kraft told him that Kraft now understands “what our players go through when they get pulled over and they’re discriminated against.”
“He’s finally seeing what it’s like to be a player in the NFL and a player in the NBA, when you have experiences with law enforcement that aren’t the way you thought they were going to be,” Rubin said.
Rubin also echoed the same arguments Kraft’s lawyers are making: that the owner was “illegally videoed” and that “there was no sex trafficking” taking place at the spa.
“Law enforcement made it up,” Rubin said.
Rubin and Mill, since being released from prison, have ramped up their advocacy work. This week, Mill and Rubin were joined by CNN personality Van Jones in front of City Hall to make a plea to officials for probation reform.
Rubin wasn’t the only one to advocate on Mill’s behalf. Kraft also visited Mill in prison in Pennsylvania.
And Mill hooked Kraft up with a massive gold-and-diamond “Championships” necklace for the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade.
Rubin is optimistic Kraft will “come through this stronger than ever,” and when more details come out, “it won’t be as people believe.”
Read his full comments here: