Giant Legend Lawrence Taylor Charged with Statutory Rape

LT charged with statutory rape after alleged encounter with underage prostitute

Giant Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor has been charged with third-degree rape after an encounter with a teenage prostitute in an upstate hotel room, authorities said today

The reported rape -- a sexual encounter with an underage runaway forced into prostitution by a violent pimp -- occurred early Thursday morning at the Holiday Inn Holidome Hotel in Montebello, according to Ramapo Police.

Taylor, who lives in Pembroke Pines, Fla., was charged with third-degree rape and third-degree solicitation of a prostitute, a misdemeanor.  He faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted.

According to sources, the teenage prostitute was beaten and kicked by her pimp before being transported to Suffern to have sex with an "old, husky bald man with a goatee." 

"Ignorance is not an excuse to an individual's age," said Ramapo Police Chief Peter Brower when asked if Taylor was aware of the prostitute's age.

After the incident, the victim texted her uncle, who called NYPD from his home in the Bronx, sources said. The NYPD responded and arrested the pimp who will be charged in New York City.

The alleged transaction was for $300 and the teenage prostitute did not have any clue that the alleged "John" was a world famous former NFL star, according to sources.

Taylor is "not happy with what took place," said Ramapo Police Commissioner Christopher St. Lawrence. "We went to his room and knocked on the door, waking him up, and made the arrest."

The 16-year-old victim was reported missing from the Bronx in March of this year. She showed signs of physical assault, which appeared to be the work of the pimp -- not Taylor, authorities said.

"Mr. Taylor was very cooperative and he was very concerned about allegations of injury to the victim," Brower said. "We have 
no indication that he caused any injury to the victim... He was very concerned about being accused of injuring the victim."

Taylor was given $75,000 bail which he posted just a short time later. "I'm not that important," Taylor told a crowd of reporters and photographers after he was released.

The judge also issued an order of protection for the alleged victim, only identified by the initials "C.F."

Outside of court, Aidala emphatically denied the charges.

"My client did not have sex with anybody, period." said the attorney. " My client was in town to work. He was going to play golf with some friends and then he was going to work."

Aidala said LT was "devastated" by the allegations.

"Today was a very difficult day for Mr. Taylor," said Aidala, who also denied any return to drug use by his infamous client.

"He has not touched any drugs in over a dozen years. He's clean, clean, clean. That was the old Lawrence Taylor, this is the new Lawence Taylor," said Aidala.

At the Bronx home of the teen victim's uncle, relatives were shocked to hear their niece was being characterized as a "prostitute."

They said she had moved to Pennsylvania recently with her folks had been in the Bronx  "visiting friends" when she went missing. When asked about her relationship with Rasheed Davis -- the accused "pimp" -- the family says they'd never heard of him before.

Considered one of the greatest players in the history of football -- and perhaps the best defensive player of all time -- Taylor, 51, spent his entire professional career with the Giants. One of the most beloved Giants ever, he racked up double-digit sacks in six consecutive seasons and lead Big Blue to two Super Bowl wins.

A quick, fierce and athletic linebacker who redefined his position, Taylor was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1999 and competed in ABC's "Dancing With the Stars'' last year. The 10-time Pro Bowler was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1986 and was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Yet the glory of Taylor's career has been tainted by personal controversy. No stranger to the wrong side of the law, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year admitted to using cocaine as early as his second year in the league and the NFL suspended him multiple times for failing drug tests.

Taylor's drug abuse escalated after he retired in 1993 and he ended up in jail three times for attempted drug possession. By all reports, the former sports commentator cleaned up his lifestyle and had been living sober and drug-free since 1998. He was most recently pursuing a career in acting and police said he lived in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Today's allegations are the first serious criminal accusations against Taylor in some time. But they're reminiscent of an era in which drug-related charges were the norm.

Taylor's off-field behavior over a decade portrays an extraordinarily troubled man with a substance-abuse problem, not the NFL great who revolutionized the linebacker position and earned an enduring place in the hearts of New York football fans.

Take a look at some of his off-the-field lows:

  • In 2001, police questioned Taylor in connection with the grand theft auto and counterfeit money charges filed against his former teammate Mark Ingram. Ingram was busted in a stolen car with Taylor's golf clubs, shoes and checkbook in tow.
  • In 1998, Taylor was arrested in Teaneck, N.J., on drug-related charges. The town's narcotics bureau executed a search warrant on a hotel room rented in Taylor's name and found crack and narcotics paraphernalia. Two months earlier, he was arrested in a Florida hotel room for allegedly buying $50 worth of a crack from an undercover cop. He said he had been set up.
  • In 1997, cops busted Taylor for crack possession in South Carolina. As part of a deal to wipe the charges from his record, he completed 60 hours of community service and agreed to random drug testing and drug counseling.
  • In 1996, authorities cited Taylor for leaving the scene of an accident. He told cops he lost control of the car after being cut off,  but cops said he then disappeared. They caught up with him five hours later. He passed a Breathalyzer test, but was handed three motor vehicle violations, including one for driving with a suspended license. Two weeks prior to the crash, Taylor was arrested in a drug sting in South Carolina for allegedly trying to buy $100 worth of crack.
  • In 1991, Taylor was arrested for allegedly smacking a taxi with a metal pipe during an altercation over a car accident. He was charged with misdemeanor criminal property damage.
  • In 1989, Taylor was charged with driving while intoxicated on the Garden State Parkway. He told cops he pulled over because he had had a few drinks and didn't feel well. Taylor had thrown up and was sitting in his car when an officer found him.
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