What could be next for the Florida massage parlor workers?

On Friday, Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.

Kraft, who was not charged with human trafficking, was one of 25 people arrested as part of a months-long sex trafficking investigation, officials in Florida said. His spokesperson categorically denied that Kraft was "engaged in any illegal activity," adding that "Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."

After the charges against the men were announced, police said their attention is focused on possible victims.

"Obviously our concern in this investigation centers around our our possibility of victims of human trafficking," Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said during a press conference Friday.

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Robert Kraft through his career
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Robert Kraft through his career
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft answers a reporters question as coach Bill Parcells (L) laughs during a morning press conferenece January 22. The Patriots will meet the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI January 26. SPORT SUPER BOWL
U.S. President George W. Bush poses with the New England Patriots and their owner, Robert Kraft (L), and Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick (R), during a Rose Garden ceremony honoring the 2001 NFL Champions at the White House, April 2, 2002. The Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI 20-17. REUTERS/Win McNamee WM/HK
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (R) and head coach Bill Belichick hold the Lamar Hunt Trophy after the Patriots' 24-14 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship in Foxboro, Massachusetts, January 18, 2004. REUTERS/Mike Segar JS
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (R) greets fans prior to Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, February 1, 2004. The Patriots are playing the Carolina Panthers. REUTERS/Mike Segar PJ
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie (L) and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft embrace prior to Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, February 6, 2005. Kraft outbid Lurie in 1994 for the ownership of the Patriots, and Lurie bought the Eagles one year later. Lurie is from the Boston area and roots for the Patriots, except when they are playing the Eagles. REUTERS/Mike Blake GAC/SV
New England Patriot owner Robert Kraft holds the Vince Lombardi trophy after Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida, February 6, 2005. REUTERS/Mike Blake CBSV
U.S. President George W. Bush poses with members of the New England Patriots football team at the White House. U.S. President George W. Bush poses for a group picture with players and officials from the New England Patriots football team including team owner Robert Kraft (L) and head coach Bill Belichick (R) during a welcoming ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 13, 2005. The Patriots won the 2005 Super Bowl earlier this year. REUTERS/Jason Reed
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) and New England Patriots Chariman and chief executive officer Robert Kraft laugh before the start of a game in Foxboro, Massachusetts, September 24, 2006, while announcing that the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks will play in the first NFL game in China. The game will be played August 8, 2007. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft smiles on the sidelines before his team's NFL football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey December 29, 2007. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (R) chats with referee Mike Carey prior to the NFL's Super Bowl XLII football game between the Patriots and the New York Giants in Glendale, Arizona, February 3, 2008. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES)
Chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft (R) poses with Andre Tippett after Tippett was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, August 2, 2008. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) poses with New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch (L) and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft before a Super Bowl XLVI news conference in Indianapolis, Indiana February 3, 2012. Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants is set for play on February 5. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (R) kisses former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe (L) as he holds the Larmar Hunt Trophy after the Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL's AFC Championship football game in Foxborough, Massachusetts, January 22, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives at the 20th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party in West Hollywood, California February 26, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT)(OSCARS-PARTIES)
Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft claps on the field prior to the Patriots' 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft laughs during activities held before the start of the NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona, February 1, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (left) walks the field with girlfriend Ricki Noel Lander before Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) holds a replica jersey he was given as he plays host to the reigning NFL Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, including head coach Bill Belichick (L) and team owner Robert Kraft (R), on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Aug 7, 2015; Canton, OH, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft poses with enshrinees Jim Kelly, Marv Levy, Bill Polian, Thurman Thomas, Will Shields and James Lofton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2017 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-38 in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots NFL team owner Robert Kraft poses at Elton John's 70th Birthday and 50-Year Songwriting Partnership with Bernie Taupin benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the UCLA Hammer Museum at RED Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
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The women working at the massage parlor appeared to be living at the business, according to a Jupiter Police Department probable cause affidavit. One investigator noticed personal items, such as clothing and medicine, next to beds. Additionally, officials noted that the business' kitchen had a refrigerator with food and condiments that indicated the women were living on the premises.

"We're working with advocacy groups and interpreters and getting as much support for them as we possibly can," Kerr said of the women.

While it's unclear how the women in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa will be designated, officials have described the bust as possible human trafficking.

In an email to NBC News on Saturday, Denise Brennan, a professor at and chairwoman of the anthropology department at Georgetown University, said there are several red flags that would help officials determine if the women were trafficked.

"Restriction of movement is a classic page from traffickers' playbook. If the women working in the massage parlor were not allowed to leave the premises — and if when they left they were accompanied and/or monitored — then this might be a trafficking case," she said. "If we learn that their passports were taken, then we are looking at trafficking."

Brennan also made clear that the sex work itself is not a calling card of human trafficking, but rather it's the lack of autonomy.

"Trafficking — forced labor — can happen in any labor sector, and massage parlors are no exception," Brennan said. "It is not, however, a case of trafficking simply because it involves sex work."

If the women, many of which are believed to have been brought to the United States from China, according to police, are charged as participating in criminal activity, they could be subjected to deportation or prosecution. But if they are designated as victims, they will be eligible for T visas, a visa solely designated for human trafficking victims.

One of the most crucial first steps in victims getting help to stay in the United States is being designated by law enforcement as human trafficking survivors, according to experts.

In 2017, Sarah Paoletti, director of the University of Pennsylvania Law School's international human rights and immigration clinic, told NBC News the designation between victim and prostitute can be the determining factor in whether or not the women receive help and will be allowed to stay in the country.

"If it's a law enforcement bust, [police] can treat them as trafficking victims and connect them to the Department of Justice and services at the Department of Justice," Paoletti said at the time. "Or they treat them as prostitutes, or people who were smuggled, and they can end up being treated as criminals rather than victims."

 

The T visas were created in October 2000 with the passing of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and 5,000 are available for applicants each year.

In addition to proving they were trafficked, the victims would need to comply with law enforcement requests, and prove they would face danger if they were to return to their home country.

They also have to prove they are admissible to the United States, meaning they have not been charged or convicted of a crime or illegally entered the county. However, because a trafficker may bring a victim into the country illegally, a wavier can be filed if a person is deemed inadmissible for the the T visa.

If approved by USCIS, a T visa recipient can apply for permanent residence after three years, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

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