Pro football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor was arrested today and charged with raping a 16-year-old girl brought to his upstate New York hotel room against her will by a pimp, authorities said this afternoon.
Taylor, 51, was charged with statutory rape and soliciting a minor prostitute, both of which he denies. The rape charge carries a four-year maximum prison term and the prostitution charge could add an additional year.
Ramapo, N.Y., Police Chief Peter Brower told reporters that Taylor "engaged in sexual intercourse with a child less than 17 for which he paid the victim $300."
The alleged victim, a runaway from the Bronx, N.Y., was allegedly brought to Taylor's room at the Holidome Hotel in Montebello, N.Y., by a man police identified as Rasheed Davis, who has been charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The girl is believed to have sustained injuries to her face prior to sex with Taylor, Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence told reporters.
On her way back to New York City with Davis, the girl texted her uncle to report her whereabouts. The uncle called the New York Police Department, who met the girl and Davis, according to authorities. New York detectives alerted Ramapo police to Taylor's alleged involvement. Police knocked on the door of his hotel room in the early hours this morning, waking the former linebacker, according to authorities.
Bail was set at $75,000, and Taylor was ordered to reappear on June 10.
Brower would not comment on whether Taylor knew the girl's age but added, "Ignorance is not an excuse to an individual's age."
"There were no signs of drug use, but there was a bottle of alcohol" in the room, Brower said.
Police said Taylor was cooperative when arrested and had been talking. He was "concerned" that authorities knew the girl's face was bruised before she was taken to his room, police said.
Davis "struck the young girl with his fist, kicked her and brought her to the Holiday Inn against her will," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the Associated Press.
The girl ran away when she was 15 years old and had been reported missing to NYPD in March. She recently turned 16, St. Lawrence said.
Taylor appeared in court this afternoon, wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. His hands were shackled.
"Lawrence Taylor is denying these charges," said lawyer Arthur Aidala, but no official plea was entered.
Taylor has had several previous run-ins with the law, both while playing in the NFL and since retiring in 1993.
He was suspended by the league several times for using illegal drugs and was jailed three times for attempting to buy drugs.
Lawrence Taylor Has Previous Arrests
He was arrested in 2009 for a hit-and-run incident in Hialeah, Fla. He was released on $500 bond and the case is still pending.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999 after a 13-year career with the Giants. He appeared last year on the ABC show "Dancing With the Stars."
In his 1987 autobiography "LT: Living on the Edge," Taylor wrote, "For me, crazy as it seems, there is a real relationship between wild, reckless abandoned off the field and being that way on the field."