‘I am truly sorry:’ Robert Kraft issues his first statement after prostitution arrest

The 77-year-old owner of the New England Patriots issued a statement Saturday apologizing for his arrest in February on charges of soliciting prostitution during two visits at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, a spa that police suspect had been involved in human trafficking.

“I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and dissapointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard,” Kraft said in the statement, obtained by ESPN and scores of other news outlets. “Throughout my life I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women.”

Kraft said he had remained silent in the aftermath of his publicized arrest out of “deference to the judicial process.”

He has insisted he is innocent.

He and other busted in Jupiter last month have been offered a “pre-trial diversion” deal which would result in his charges being dropped.

Pre-trial diversion programs generally require defendants to admit guilt and complete conditions such as taking anti-crime classes, community service and paying fines before the charges are dropped.

The Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in February’s Super Bowl.