NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor pleaded not guilty on July 13 to allegedly paying a16-year-old girl $300 for a sexual encounter which occurred in May.
Authorities allege Taylor had sex with the teen runaway from the Bronx, identified only as C.F., in a New York hotel room. He is charged with third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child, and appeared at a Rockland County, N.Y. courthouse to enter his plea.
Rasheed Davis, the man alleged to be the girl’s pimp, is accused of assaulting the teen and bringing her to Taylor’s hotel room against her will. He has been charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Asked outside the courtroom if he did it, Taylor responded, “Grow up,” according to the Associated Press.
According to ESPN, a potential witness told defense investigators she heard the girl say, “It was weird. … We didn’t even have sex,” after meeting Taylor.
“It is Mr. Taylor’s position that this person is an absolute stranger to him and he doesn’t know who this person is,” defense attorney Arthur Aidala told the AP.
However, according to ESPN, court papers in the case say Taylor admitted to sex acts with the girl but was told she was 19. Taylor’s wife sat in the front row during the court proceedings.
According to the AP, Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said at the time of the indictment, “One of the most effective ways to target prostitution is to go after the johns . This indictment underscores our serious commitment to prosecuting those defendants who create a market for the region’s growing sex trade.”
Bail for Taylor was set at $75,000, and he was required to surrender his passport to the court. The next court date in the case is set for Aug. 3, but Taylor won’t have to personally appear again until Aug. 24. If convicted, Taylor faces up to four years in prison.
“Mr. Taylor is very much looking forward to… putting this behind him, and going on to live his life,” Aidala told the AP.
Taylor led the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991. He was the National Football League’s MVP in 1986 and Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1986. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.