Former New York Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor was charged with third-degree rape and third-degree patronizing a prostitute Thursday in an assault on a 16-year-old runaway who was brought to his suburban New York City hotel room against her will, police said.
After his arraignment, Taylor was released on $75,000 bail and is due back in court on June 10.
Taylor, 51, was taken into custody by Town of Ramapo Police early Thursday at a Holiday Inn in Suffern, N.Y. Police say the alleged 16-year-old victim was paid $300 by Taylor.
Ramapo Chief of Police Peter Brower wouldn't say whether the former New York Giant knew how young she was, but he said, "Ignorance is not an excuse to an individual's age." The legal age of consent in New York is 17-years-old.
Arthur Aidala, Taylor's attorney, describes his client as a "loving family man." Another attorney for Taylor, Kenneth Gribetz, says he is confident his client will be proven innocent.
Police say the girl was reported missing by her family in March, and was staying with 36-year-old parolee Rasheed Davis in the Bronx. According to the New York Police Department, the two met weeks ago at a bus stop in the borough and Davis invited her to stay with him.
"He chats her up. She explains she doesn't have a place to stay. He provides one," stated NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. Davis soon forced her into prostitution.
Davis punched and kicked the teenager before driving her against her will to the Holiday Inn to meet Taylor on Thursday. When the girl refused to have sex with Taylor, police say he raped her. Taylor then paid the girl $300, which she turned over to Davis.
The NYPD was alerted to the assault when the teen managed to text message her uncle about what was happening. Her uncle went straight to the police.
Davis was arrested and charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He has been on parole since March 2008, after being sentenced to eight to 25 years behind bars for first-degree manslaughter in April 1994.
Taylor, who has a reputation of being one of the most feared linebackers in NFL history, helped lead the New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories in 1987 and 1991. He most recently appeared as a contestant on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
Over the years, Taylor has developed a lengthy criminal rap sheet. In 2001, the Hall of Fame linebacker was convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia in New Jersey. The conviction stemmed from the September 1998 discovery in a hotel room of a butane torch and other materials commonly used to smoke crack.
In 1996 and 1997, he was arrested in South Carolina and Florida on drug charges. In those cases, he either admitted his guilt or agreed to enter a pretrial intervention program.
In 2000, he drew five years of federal probation for filing false tax returns and for tax evasion.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun