Lawrence Taylor charged with rape
UPDATED (8:01 p.m.)...
Lawrence Taylor, the former 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 was charged with rape.
Authorities accused Taylor of paying $300 for sex with a 16-year-old runaway from New York City. The alleged victim in the case, who was identified only by her initials during Taylor's arraignment Thursday afternoon, was accompanied to Taylor's hotel room by a man who later was arrested in New York, authorities said.
Taylor's attorney denied the allegations and said he will contest the charges vigorously in court.
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 if Taylor is convicted, authorities said at an afternoon news conference conducted shortly before Taylor appeared in court for his arraignment.
A judge set bail for Taylor at $75,000. Taylor was ordered by the judge to have no contact with the alleged victim in the case.
Taylor's attorney, Arthur Aidala, said in court that Taylor "is denying these charges.... He is a law-abiding citizen."
Aidala said later at a news conference that "each and every aspect of this case and each and every aspect of these charges will be litigated to the fullest extent of the law" and that Taylor "did not have sex with anybody." He disputed an account by authorities that Taylor acknowledged to investigators paying for sex.
"Lawrence Taylor did not rape anybody," Aidala said. "Am I clear?"
Authorities said that police entered Taylor's room at a Holiday Inn around 3:55 a.m. and arrested him. The incident occurred early Thursday morning, said Christopher P. St. Lawrence, the supervisor of the town of Ramapo, N.Y.
St. Lawrence and Peter Brower, the chief of police in Ramapo, said at a news conference that Taylor did not cause a facial injury suffered by the alleged victim.
"We have no evidence to indicate he caused any injury to the victim," Brower said.
Brower said that Taylor paid $300 for sex. Investigators found a bottle of alcohol but no drugs in the hotel room, Brower said.
St. Lawrence said that the alleged victim was accompanied to Taylor's hotel room by a man identified by authorities as Rasheed Davis.
The alleged victim was a runaway who was 15 when she was reported missing in New York City in March, St. Lawrence said.
Following Thursday's alleged incident, the alleged victim contacted her uncle while being driven back to New York City by Davis, authorities said. Her uncle contacted police and officers arrested Davis in New York, according to authorities.
According to the Associated Press, Davis was arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The AP described Davis as a 36-year-old parolee and reported that the alleged victim had been staying with him in the Bronx in recent weeks. The AP reported that, according to police, Davis punched and kicked the alleged victim, took her to Taylor's hotel against her will and told her to have sex with Taylor.
St. Lawrence said that authorities in Ramapo did not know details about the possible relationship between Taylor and Davis or how the sexual encounter between Taylor and the alleged victim was arranged.
Taylor, 51, played for the Giants between the 1981 and 1993 seasons. He was selected to 10 Pro Bowls and was named the NFL's defensive player of the year in the 1981, '82 and '86 seasons. Taylor was named to the NFL's 75th anniversary team in 1994 and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1999. He is regarded as one of the top pass rushers in the history of the sport.
Taylor has had legal problems in the past, including multiple arrests on drug-related charges. But he reportedly has said his drug problems are behind him.
Taylor competed last year in ABC's televised dancing competition, "Dancing with the Stars."
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