NEW YORK — Pro football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor was indicted Wednesday by a suburban New York grand jury on charges of third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute.
The indictment follows his May 6 arrest at a Holiday Inn in Ramapo, N.Y., where prosecutors say he paid a 16-year-old girl $300 to have sex with him.
Taylor had been charged previously in Ramapo Town Court, but the indictment transfers the case to Rockland County. He is scheduled to appear July 13.
The former New York Giants linebacker also was indicted on charges of endangering the welfare of a child, and sexual abuse and criminal sexual act in the third degree. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted. He has denied the charges.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said the 16-year-old told investigators that she had been verbally threatened and physically assaulted by a pimp who drove her 26 miles north to the hotel where Taylor was waiting.
“One of the most effective ways to target prostitution is to go after the johns,” Zugibe said. “This indictment underscores our serious commitment to prosecuting those defendants who create a market for the region’s growing sex trade.”
Taylor’s attorney reiterated his client’s innocence Wednesday.
“Mr. Taylor and his legal team made a strategic decision not to present any evidence to the grand jury, including him testifying or any witnesses in his defense,” said defense attorney Arthur Aidala.
The evidence includes sworn testimony by a 23-year-old woman who says she accompanied the accused pimp and the 16-year-old girl to the hotel where Taylor was staying. She said Taylor did not rape the girl. The teenager returned to the car with $300 in cash and said: “It was weird … we didn’t even have sex.”
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Athletes Behaving Badly