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Eric Lars Bakke / ESPN Images(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, is planning to reject a deferred prosecution agreement that would not require him to plead guilty to any charges surrounding his visits to a Florida spa in January that was under investigation for sex trafficking and prostitution, a source close to Kraft told ABC News on Wednesday.

The decision to reject the deal is consistent with Kraft's only public comment about his visits to the spa.

When his name first surfaced last month in connection with the investigation, his spokeswoman, Stacey James, said in a statement that "[w]e categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity."

Kraft is facing two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution for allegedly visiting the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida on two occasions earlier this year and paying for sexual favors from the massage parlor’s staff.

The Patriots team owner has pleaded not guilty and opted for a non-jury trial before a judge, while assembling a powerhouse team of high-profile Florida criminal defense attorneys.

The proposed pre-trial diversion program would have required Kraft to either acknowledge guilt or admit that he would have been proven guilty at trial, according to the spokesperson for the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office, Mike Edmondson.

While Kraft is currently facing a statutory maximum of one year in jail, if he were to have accepted the plea agreement, the misdemeanor charges would have been dropped.

As part of the statute, Kraft would have had to perform 100 hours of community service, attend a class on the dangers of prostitution and pay a $5,000 fine per count, according to Edmondson.

The deal was offered to Kraft and 24 other men charged in the case. No one has accepted the deal as of Tuesday evening.

The Wall Street Journal first reported news of a proposed deal.

None of Kraft's three primary defense attorneys immediately responded to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the Jupiter Police Department, which conducted the investigation, referred requests for comment to the Palm Beach County State Attorney's office, which did not immediately respond to ABC News.

Even with the charges dropped, Kraft could still face discipline from the National Football League (NFL), which has a strict personal conduct policy.

The policy reads, in part, that "[i]t is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. We are all held to a higher standard and must conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible, promotes the values of the NFL, and is lawful."

Authorities set up hidden cameras at the spa and, Jupiter Police Detective Andrew Sharp said, there's video evidence of all of the suspects participating in the alleged sexual acts.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has punished Kraft's Patriots more severely than any other franchise during his tenure, according to ESPN. He fined them $250,000, and coach Bill Belichick $500,000, for spying on an opponent's defensive signals in 2007. He fined the Patriots $1 million, stripped them of two draft choices and suspended quarterback Tom Brady as part of the 2015 "Deflategate" investigation.

News of the charges being dropped came the same day that a coalition of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking survivor networks wrote a letter calling on Goodell to investigate criminal charges against Kraft and if found to be true to strip him of ownership of the Super Bowl champions franchise, according to a letter released by the coalition on Tuesday.

“If the results of [an NFL] investigation show Mr. Kraft to have engaged in the purchase of women for sex, the NFL must banish Mr. Kraft from team ownership because men who purchase others for sex inflict inestimable amounts of human suffering on those they exploit for sex,” the letter reads, which goes on to call for the sports league to “take immediate action, rigorous measures to create a corporate and sport culture that respects others by rejecting all forms of sexual objectification, harassment, assault, and exploitation of women by owners, coaches, players, team personnel, and others associated with the NFL.”

The NFL's media representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

The allegations against Kraft come three weeks after the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams to win the team's sixth Super Bowl title.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Kraft's then-NFL record $175 million purchase of the Patriots in 1994.

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Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has declined to press charges against a San Francisco Giants executive who was caught on video in an argument with his wife earlier this month.

Larry Baer, the Giants' CEO, is currently on leave from his position -- a decision he announced in the wake of the video being aired by TMZ. In the video, Baer can be seen arguing with his wife in a public park in San Francisco on March 1 and then attempting to grab a cellphone from her hand.

Baer's wife, Pam, falls out of the chair while clinging to the phone and can be heard screaming for help.

In San Francisco, the district attorney decides on both felony and misdemeanor charges so the decision is final when it comes to possible charges.

Prosecutors could not prove a crime was committed. They looked over evidence, videos, statements from witnesses and comments from those involved and there was not enough to support filing criminal charges, per the district attorney's office.

The Major League Baseball commissioner's office is still looking into the incident and could punish Baer. The league did not comment on the district attorney's decision not to press charges.

"We are holding off commenting until the Commissioner's review is completed," MLB said in a statement to San Francisco ABC station KGO-TV.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued a statement on Monday calling for MLB to punish Baer.

"When the incident first occurred involving Larry Baer and his wife, the San Francisco Police Department immediately began an investigation," Breed said in the statement. "That investigation is ongoing, but regardless of the outcome, Major League Baseball needs to send a message that any and all acts of violence against women is unacceptable."

The statement added, "Every little girl, every woman should be able to attend a Giants game with a clear sense of the organization’s values. I share in the call to action by the women who have written the Commissioner calling for greater accountability. There must be a stronger public reaction and response to violence against women in our City and our country."

Baer apologized for losing his temper and said his behavior was "unacceptable."

"Mr. Baer has acknowledged that his behavior was unaccetpable, apologized to the organization and is committed to taking steps to make sure this never happens again," the Giants said in a statement earlier this month. "He has also requested, and the Board has accepted, his request to take personal time away from the Giants beginning today."

Pam blamed falling over on a recent foot injury, though the video appeared to call that into question.

"I would like to clarify the events of today. My husband and I had an argument in public about which we are quite embarrassed," she said in a statement provided to ESPN on March 1. "I took his cell phone. He wanted it back and I did not want to give it back. I started to get up & the chair I was sitting in began to tip. Due to an injury I sustained in my foot 3 days ago, I lost my balance. I did not sustain any injury based on what happened today. Larry & I always have been & still are happily married."

It was not clear when Baer might return to the team. The Giants open the season on March 28 at San Diego.

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Eddie Perlas / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Kobe Bryant has conquered the basketball court, and has successfully taken on the film industry by winning the 2018 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Now, the MVP has his eyes set on a brand new venture: children's books.

Bryant has released his first book, a young adult novel titled, The Wizenard Series: Training Camp, which follows a group of young male basketball players and their struggling inner-city basketball team.

Kobe tells ABC Radio that the idea for his book came from his love of two things: Harry Potter and basketball.

"We're a big Harry Potter household, but we're also a big sports household," Bryant says. "And there wasn't a story that can combine both of them. That was the original idea behind it."

Although Bryant had award-winning young adult writer Wesley King pen his first project, the former basketball star came up with the characters and its plot. Bryant explains he has an ultimate vision for his new book series.

"This project in particular is something that we believe belongs on the stage," he reveals. "Because of the way it's set... the kind of the arc of the narrative, we believe it has a better presence on the stage. So, we'll see how that goes."

Still, Kobe has his sights set on even bigger projects. However, he knows it's going to be an uphill climb -- even after his Oscar win. The basketball champ says he's not exactly sure what winning an Oscar has done for him beyond giving him some "credibility."

"I'm not just a basketball player trying to dabble into something, but inevitably you still get that a lot," he says. "Like when I say, "OK, I'm coming out with a novel... I kind of get the eye roll a little bit still."

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iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
Pittsburgh 3, Detroit 1
Chi Cubs 6, Seattle 4
Texas 3, Milwaukee 2
Cincinnati 6, Chi White Sox 5
Kansas City 8, Chi Cubs 6
LA Angels 9, Colorado 7
Cleveland 4, LA Dodgers 2
Philadelphia at Houston 1:05 p.m., canceled

AMERICAN LEAGUE
NY Yankees 6, Tampa Bay 2
Toronto at Boston 1:05 p.m., canceled
Minnesota at Baltimore 1:05 p.m., canceled

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 3, Atlanta 2
San Diego 4, Arizona 3
NY Mets at Miami 1:05 p.m., canceled

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Philadelphia 118, Charlotte 114
Houston 121, Atlanta 105
Milwaukee 115, L.A. Lakers 101
Golden State 117, Minnesota 107
Brooklyn 123, Sacramento 121
L.A. Clippers 115, Indiana 109

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
SO Carolina 3, Pittsburgh 2
Montreal 3, Philadelphia 1
Detroit 3, NY Rangers 2
Boston 5, NY Islanders 0
Washington 4, New Jersey 1
Colorado 3, Minnesota 1
St. Louis 7, Edmonton 2
Nashville 3, Toronto 0
Dallas 4, Florida 2
Calgary 4, Columbus 2

NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL FIRST FOUR

EAST REGION
Belmont 81, Temple 70

WEST REGION
Fairleigh Dickinson 82, Prairie View 76

NIT TOURNAMENT
Colorado 78, Dayton 73
Texas 79, S. Dakota St. 73
UNC-Greensboro 84, Campbell 69
Lipscomb 89, Davidson 81
NC State 84, Hofstra 78
Arkansas 84, Providence 72
Indiana 89, St. Francis (Pa.) 72
Clemson 75, Wright St. 69
Memphis 74, San Diego 60
Creighton 70, Loyola of Chicago 61

CIT TOURNAMENT
OT Robert Morris 98, Cornell 89
Marshall 78, IUPUI 73

CBI TOURNAMENT
Utah Valley 92, CS Northridge 84

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, is being offered a deferred prosecution agreement in which he would not face prosecution and not be required to plead guilty to any charges surrounding his visits to a Florida spa in January that was under investigation for sex trafficking and prostitution, a prosecutor in the case announced on Tuesday.

Kraft is facing two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution for allegedly visiting the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida on two occasions earlier this year and paying for sexual favors from the massage parlor’s staff.

He is facing a statutory maximum of one year in jail, though prosecutors typically offer first-time offenders deferred prosecution agreements, which gives them the chance to pay a fine and perform community service, while not admitting fault, according to veteran Florida criminal defense attorneys who spoke with ABC News.

The proposed deferred prosecution agreement would require Kraft to admit that he would have been proven guilty at trial, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported news of a proposed deal. The newspaper also reported that the proposed deal would include Kraft taking an educational course on prostitution, submitting to screening for sexually transmitted diseases and perform 100 hours of community service.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg appeared to confirm the outlines of the Journal's account when he tweeted in response to the newspaper's tweet that..."The offer of a deferred prosecution agreement with several conditions to first time offenders is standard in cases like this."

 It was not immediately clear whether Kraft would accept such an offer. None of his three primary defense attorneys immediately responded to a request for comment; nor did Palm Beach County prosecutors. A spokeswoman for the Jupiter Police Department, which conducted the investigation, referred requests for comment to the prosecutor's office.

The Patriots team owner had pleaded not guilty and opted for a non-jury trial, before a judge -- while assembling a powerhouse team of high-profile Florida criminal defense attorneys.

Florida criminal defense attorney Mark O’Mara said that the Kraft deal is best outcome Kraft could hope for short of a dismissal of the charges.

“In a pre-trial diversion, you divert the case away from the criminal justice system into what I’d call a pre-plea probation,” said O’Mara, who won George Zimmerman’s acquittal on murder and manslaughter charges in the fatal 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin.

This is a variant of a pre-trial diversion. This is … in my opinion, a deferred prosecution agreement is much more informal, more of a letter contract between the prosecution and the defense

“He’s the best deal he can get, but I give kudos to his defense attorneys because they worked out the best deal they could without a complete dismissal. It’s the best of all worlds, because you’re not entering a plea.”

O’Mara said such deals are generally reserved for first-time offenders.

Even with the charges dropped, Kraft could still face discipline from the National Football League (NFL), which has a strict personal conduct policy.

The policy reads, in part, that "[i]t is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. We are all held to a higher standard and must conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible, promotes the values of the NFL, and is lawful."

Twenty-five people were charged in the sting at the Jupiter spa, police said. Authorities set up hidden cameras at the spa and, Jupiter Police Detective Andrew Sharp said, there's video evidence of all of the suspects participating in the alleged sexual acts.

Stacey James, a spokeswoman for Kraft, 77, said in a statement at the time that "[w]e categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has punished Kraft's Patriots more severely than any other franchise during his tenure, according to ESPN. He fined them $250,000, and coach Bill Belichick $500,000, for spying on an opponent's defensive signals in 2007. He fined the Patriots $1 million, stripped them of two draft choices and suspended quarterback Tom Brady as part of the 2015 "Deflategate" investigation.

News of the charges being dropped came the same day that a coalition of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking survivor networks wrote a letter calling on Goodell to investigate criminal charges against Kraft and if found to be true to strip him of ownership of the Super Bowl champions franchise, according to a letter released by the coalition on Tuesday.

“If the results of [an NFL] investigation show Mr. Kraft to have engaged in the purchase of women for sex, the NFL must banish Mr. Kraft from team ownership because men who purchase others for sex inflict inestimable amounts of human suffering on those they exploit for sex,” the letter reads, which goes on to call for the sports league to “take immediate action, rigorous measures to create a corporate and sport culture that respects others by rejecting all forms of sexual objectification, harassment, assault, and exploitation of women by owners, coaches, players, team personnel, and others associated with the NFL.”

“The prostitution marketplace is the context in which most sexual exploitation and sex trafficking transpire. The prostitution marketplace encompasses any of the various modes by which prostitution is marketed: strip clubs, massage parlors, ‘escort’ services, Internet-based prostitution websites, brothels, as well as pimp-facilitated, street-level prostitution, and pornography (i.e. – prostitution for mass consumption.)”

The coalition, which includes groups like Breaking the Silence Together, Veronica’s Voice, Freedom From Exploitation, Inc., DIGNITY House and the Survivor Leader Network, cite the NFL’s own Personal Conduct Policy, which describes misconduct as “conduct by anyone in the league that is illegal, violent, dangerous, or irresponsibl[y] put innocent victims at risk, damages the reputation of others in the game, or undercuts public support for the NFL.”

The NFL's media representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

The allegations against Kraft come three weeks after the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams to win the team's sixth Super Bowl title.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Kraft's then-NFL record $175 million purchase of the Patriots in 1994.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Allen Kee / ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Angels and Mike Trout are said to be close to finalizing an extension that would make the center fielder’s contract the largest one in professional sports history.

Sources tell ESPN the deal would be for 12 years and worth more than $430 million.

If the deal is completed, Trout, 27, will get nearly $36 million a year, besting Zack Greinke's yearly average of $34.4 million with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The total sum of the reported contract is also more than 30 percent larger than Bryce Harper’s $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies and exceeds the contract boxer Canelo Alvarez's has with DAZN by more than $65 million, according to ESPN.

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Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees and free-agent pitcher Gio Gonzalez have reportedly come to an agreement on a deal.

A source tells ESPN the deal places the left-hander in the Yankees’ farm system but if Gonzalez makes the team’s major league roster, the contract will be worth $3 million for the season, plus incentives.

Per the terms of the deal, Gonzalez can opt out on April 20 if he has not made the Yankees’ roster, the source added.

Gonzalez, 33, was drafted in 2004 and made his MLB debut in 2008. In his 11 seasons in the league, he is 127-97 with a 3.69 ERA and 1,748 strikeouts, playing for the Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals and, most recently, the Milwaukee Brewers.

Last season with both the Nationals and Brewers, he went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA and 148 strikeouts.

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Allen Kee / ESPN Images(CINCINNATI) -- After seven seasons together, the Cincinnati Bengals are parting ways with linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

The team announced on Monday it has terminated Burfict’s contract and released him to free agency.

"As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “Vontaze has been a good player here — the team appreciates that, and I know a lot of fans appreciate that — but our focus is on the future. Our goal is to build a successful team for the upcoming season, and we felt that making this change now was best for everyone.”

Burfict, 28, has spent his entire NFL career with Cincinnati, signing with the team in 2012. In his seven seasons in the league, he’s recorded 684 tackles, 8.5 sacks and five interceptions.

But Burfict’s career was also plagued with multiple suspensions, resulting in him missing several games. He was suspended by the NFL at the beginning of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons for various violations.

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iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Monday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
Pittsburgh 4, Tampa Bay 2
San Diego 3, Cleveland 1
San Francisco 5, Chi White Sox 2
NY Yankees 7, Atlanta 4
Texas 3, LA Dodgers 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Minnesota 4, Boston 1
Baltimore 14, Detroit 1
Toronto 3, Detroit 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Miami 7, Washington 1
St. Louis 4, Philadelphia 1
Washington 6, NY Mets 5
Colorado 6, Cincinnati 3

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Utah 116, Washington 95
Cleveland 126, Detroit 119
Toronto 128, NY Knicks 92
Denver 114, Boston 105
Miami 116, Oklahoma City 107
San Antonio 111, Golden State 105
OT New Orleans 129, Dallas 125
Chicago 116, Phoenix 101
Portland 106, Indiana 98

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Tampa Bay 4, Arizona 1
OT Vancouver 3, Chicago 2
Vegas 7, San Jose 3
Winnipeg 3, L.A. Kings 2

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Mitchell Leff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After 13 seasons in the NFL, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata announced his retirement on Monday -- and he did so on top of the world.

The 35-year-old made the announcement after scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's highest free standing mountain.

“Thank you Lord for letting me play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years,” Ngata wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m retiring on top. I might be finished playing football, but I’m holding tight to the friendships, memories and wisdom I’ve gained along the way.”

Ngata was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2006 and played with the team through 2014. He then joined the Detroit Lions for a few seasons before finishing his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

During his time in the NFL, Ngata played 180 games, recording 515 tackles and 32.5 sacks. He went to the Pro Bowl five times and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens.

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