Thursday, May 6, 2010

New York Giants Lawrence Taylor Accused Rape

Lawrence Taylor, the former NFL New York Giants linebacker whose quarterback-chasing exploits secured him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was arrested by police in the Suffern, N.Y., area early Thursday morning and charged with rape.

Authorities accused Lawrence Taylor of paying $300 for sex with a 16-year-old runaway from New York City. The alleged victim in the case, identified only by her initials during Taylor's arraignment Thursday, was accompanied to Taylor's hotel room by a man who later was arrested in New York, authorities said.

Lawrence Taylor was charged with third- degree rape -- a felony involving sex with a minor below the age of 17 -- and patronizing a prostitute in the third degree, a misdemeanor. The felony charge is punishable by up to four years in jail and the misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to a year in jail, authorities said at an afternoon news conference.

Ramapo Chief of Police Peter Brower said Lawrence Taylor was cooperative when police woke him up around 4 a.m. Taylor was arraigned Thursday on charges of third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute.

"I'm not that important," Lawrence Taylor told a scrum of media after being released on $75,000 bail. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said Taylor is a "loving family man" who did not have sex with the teenager. "My client did not have sex with anybody," Atty. Arthur Aidala said. "Lawrence Taylor did not rape anybody."

Brower would not comment on whether Taylor knew the girl's age; third-degree rape is a charge levied when the victim is under the age of consent, which is 17 in New York. "Ignorance is not an excuse to an individual's age," Brower said.

Police said the girl was reported missing by her family in March and had been staying with a 36-year-old parolee, Rasheed Davis, in the Bronx. The two met a few weeks ago at a Bronx bus stop, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

"He chats her up. She explains she doesn't have a place to stay. He provides one," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

A judge set bail for Lawrence Taylor at $75,000. was arrested in New York, authorities said. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said at a news conference that Taylor "did not have sex with anybody," disputing an account by authorities that Taylor acknowledged to investigators that he paid for intercourse.

Lawrence Taylor had a highly publicized struggle with drug addiction and has had multiple legal run-ins since retiring from football.

A quick, fierce and athletic linebacker who redefined his position, Lawrence Taylor anchored the Giants' defense and led New York to Super Bowls titles in 1987 and 1991. He was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

A 10-time Pro Bowler, he was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1986 and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1986. He recorded 132½ sacks, which doesn't included his 9 sacks in 1981 when the statistic wasn't official.

In 2001, Lawrence Taylor 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.

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