Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor was charged Thursday with raping a 16-year-old runaway who police said was forced into prostitution by a man who had beaten her up.
Taylor, a 51-year-old former New York Giants star who has faced drug and tax evasion charges in the past, paid the girl $300 for sex in a Holiday Inn, where he was arrested early Thursday, said Christopher St. Lawrence, supervisor of the town of Ramapo, N.Y.
The man who'd beaten the girl drove her to Taylor's suburban hotel room while she texted her uncle for help, police said.
Ramapo Chief of Police Peter Brower said Taylor was cooperative when police woke him up around 4 a.m. Taylor was arraigned Thursday on charges of third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute.
"I'm not that important," Taylor told a scrum of media after being released on $75,000 bail.
His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said Taylor is a "loving family man" who did not have sex with the teenager.
"My client did not have sex with anybody," Aidala said. "Lawrence Taylor did not rape anybody."
Brower would not comment on whether Taylor knew the girl's age; third-degree rape is a charge levied when the victim is under the age of consent, which is 17 in New York.
"Ignorance is not an excuse to an individual's age," Brower said.
Police said the girl was reported missing by her family in March and had been staying with a 36-year-old parolee, Rasheed Davis, in the Bronx. The two met a few weeks ago at a Bronx bus stop, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.
"He chats her up. She explains she doesn't have a place to stay. He provides one," Browne said.
Davis then forced her to perform sexual favors for others, authorities said.
Early Thursday morning, Davis punched and kicked her, drove her to the hotel against her will and told her she had to have sex with Taylor, police said. When she refused, Davis handed her over to Taylor, who sexually assaulted her, they said. Taylor paid her $300, which she gave to Davis, police said.
On the way to Suffern, the girl sent text messages to her uncle spelling out what was happening, Browne said. The uncle then went to the NYPD, he said.
Davis was arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced in April 1994 to eight to 25 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter. He was paroled in March 2008.
A Minnesota judge chastised the NFL and said the league broke state law even as he handed the league a significant victory in a closely watched lawsuit by two Minnesota Vikings challenging their suspensions for taking a banned substance.
Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson said the NFL failed to notify the two players of their test results within three days, as required in Minnesota, and said an NFL official played "a game of 'gotcha"' with them. But he said that wasn't enough to block the NFL's plan to suspend the players for four games each.
The decision doesn't necessarily clear the way for the NFL to suspend Kevin Williams and Pat Williams for part of next season, however. The judge put off a decision on whether to extend an injunction blocking the suspensions pending an expected appeal by the players. A decision isn't expected for about two weeks.
The NFL first attempted to suspend the defensive tackles in December 2008, a few months after they tested positive for a banned diuretic that was in the StarCaps weight-loss supplement they were taking. They were not accused of taking steroids and said they had no idea the diuretic was in the supplement.
The players challenged their suspensions while their lawsuit played out in federal and state court. They got to play for the entire 2009-10 season, helping Minnesota reach the NFC championship game, where it lost to eventual Super Bowl winner New Orleans.
Adam "Pacman" Jones has agreed to a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, putting the troubled cornerback on a team with a history of giving players second chances. Cincinnati was among a handful of teams that showed an interest in Jones, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2008 season and didn't play last year. Only 26 years old, Jones has seen his career bottom out because of his repeated arrests.
Will Price and Joe Sunder each had 18 kills to help No. 12 Penn State reach the NCAA men's volleyball championship with a 30-21, 30-23, 30-28 win over No. 3 Cal State Northridge at Stanford. Jacek Ratajczak had 15 kills for the Matadors (23-10).
Penn State (24-7) will play Stanford in the final. The Cardinal beat Ohio State.
Two-time champion Jelena Jankovic rolled to a surprisingly easy 6-0, 6-1 win over Venus Williams and prevented an all-Williams semifinal at the Italian Open in Rome.