NEW CITY, N.Y.—Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor gets a chance Tuesday to respond to an indictment that alleges he had sex with a 16-year-old girl.
The former NFL star is due in Rockland County Court for arraignment on charges that include third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child.
Taylor allegedly paid $300 to the girl, a Bronx runaway, for their encounter in May in a hotel room in Montebello. He could be imprisoned for up to four years if convicted.
Taylor, 51, is expected to plead not guilty. When he was arrested May 6, after the girl’s uncle contacted New York City police, defense attorney Arthur Aidala denied Taylor had sex with her.
One potential witness is a 23-year-old woman who told defense investigators that she heard the girl say after meeting Taylor, "It was weird. ... We didn’t even have sex."
Aidala did not return calls for comment.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have filed a complaint against
Rasheed Davis, who is accused of acting as the girl’s pimp and who allegedly assaulted her and brought her to Taylor’s hotel room against her will.
Court papers in that case say Taylor admitted to sex acts with the girl but was told the girl was 19.
Ignorance of a minor’s age is not a defense to third-degree rape, said Peter Brower, chief of the Ramapo police force that arrested Taylor.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe would not comment on the case Monday. He said after 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."
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.