Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard the news about Robert Kraft by now.

About three weeks after the New England Patriots took down the Los Angeles Rams in Super LIII, Kraft was charged with soliciting prostitution at a spa in South Florida. The charges were part of a larger sting by police into alleged human trafficking. Kraft has entered a plea of not guilty.

But what the case might mean for Kraft, the Patriots and the NFL goes well beyond just solicitation, which is a misdemeanor.

"The real gravity of this situation is not so much the precise charge, but rather the concern that this massage parlor, Orchids of Asia, might be ensnared in human rights violations," said WGBH legal analyst and Northeastern law professor Daniel Medwed. "It might involve sexual slavery. And that is, of course, the bigger concern."

Medwed said it's unlikely Kraft will be caught up in the trafficking allegations. But having Kraft anywhere near that aspect is what makes this case so sensitive for the NFL.

"The optics here are awful," said Jodi Balsam, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who was formerly a lawyer for the NFL.

According to the League's personal conduct policy, owners have traditionally been held to a higher standard than players and will be subject to more significant punishment when violations occur.

"His participation ... is going to invite greater scrutiny and possibly greater discipline," Balsam said.

That, plus the NFL's history, makes this a crucial case, according to Balsam.

In recent years, the League has struggled with its image after multiple players have been involved in acts of violence against women. Some were even caught on tape.

Just last year, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sold the team after allegations surfaced of inappropriate workplace behavior, including sexual harassment. The NFL levied a nearly $3 million fine against him.

That, and the possibility of video evidence from the spa in Florida going public, makes Balsam believe there will be significant pressure from the League on Kraft to step down as the public face of the Patriots.

"I believe that there will be some informal reaction which results in Bob Kraft stepping back from active leadership of this team," she said. "That he will allow his sons to be in the forefront and take over the role that he has played in the League's governance."

Beyond what happens to Kraft’s tenure as head of the Patriots organization, the biggest damage, if he is convicted, may be to Kraft’s reputation.

Kraft has always prided himself on community service and upholding what's often called "the Patriots Way" both on and off the field.

"It's about trying to collect a lot of good people," he explained to the NFL Network in 2013. "Having everybody in the organization on the same page. Doing things in the community."

Kraft bought the Patriots 25 years ago, and is said to have saved the team from possibly moving outside of the Boston area. Six Super Bowl rings later, he is considered by many to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, owners in professional sports. That legacy may now be tarnished.

Nefertiti Walker, an associate professor of sports management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said the community of Patriots fans has good reason to be confused right now about a man they have long idolized.

"Especially if you're a fan of the Patriots, you have this idea that everyone's doing their job, they're good people, they're high character folks, they do things in the community," Walker said. "But then when you see something like this happens, it goes against what your thoughts were, it goes against with who you thought they were. You start to question who they really are. And I think that that's warranted."