NFL hall of famer Lawrence Taylor was indicted on charges of rape, criminal sexual acts and sexual abuse by a suburban grand jury in New York.
According to New York prosecutors, the former New York Giants linebacker had sexual relations with a 16 year old girl and paid her $300 dollars to do so. Taylor, 51, was arrested on May 6 at a Holiday Inn. "Lawrence's legal team made a strategic decision not to put him or any of our evidence before the grand jury, and we look forward to the legal process taking its course and allowing Lawrence to move forward with his life,” Taylor’s agent Mark Lepselter told ESPNNewYork.com.
The girl, whose identity has been withheld from the media, is a runaway and told investigators she was physically assaulted by the football player, who had verbally threatened her to comply. Her alleged pimp Rasheed Davis was responsible for bringing her to the hotel room and has since been arrested. He is awaiting charges of unlawful imprisonment and assault. According to a federal criminal complaint, the under-age girl was beaten by Davis and then driven to the hotel against her will on May 5th. Davis apparently waited outside the hotel for the two to have sex. Davis was paroled in March of 2008 after he was sentences to eight to 25 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter in April 1994 when he was involved with a fatal shooting
The arraignment was scheduled for June 13th but has been postponed until the 24th. The Rockland County district attorney’s office has been awaiting forensic reports before proceeding forwards. Taylor also faces statutory rape charges because the girl is under the legal age of consent. In New York law, the ignorance of a person’s age does not prohibit the prosecution of an offender, and Taylor will spend four years in jail if he is found guilty on the statutory rape charge.
As a result of these charges, Taylor has lost endorsements and even incurred a lawsuit from a Florida man who accused Taylor of negligent driving on Nov. 8 when the retired footballer fled the scene of an accident.
There are some people who believe in Taylor’s innocence. A 23 year old woman has come forward as a defence witness claiming the 16 year old girl never actually had sex with the football legend. “He’s innocent. She’s lying. She wasn’t raped”, the witness kept it short and simple in a statement given to investigators. Her testimony is scheduled to appear in the case according to defence attorney Arthur Aidala.
As for this defence witness, the woman is a stripper and lived with Rasheed Davis and the 16-year old girl pressing charges in an apartment in the Bronx. According the statement she gave to investigators, the woman was present at the time of Davis’ arrest by New York City police, and accompanied the girl to the hospital. The witness also denied Davis beat the girl before dropping her off at the Holiday Inn.
Whether or not her statements will hold up in court is questionable, as they differ from the statements of the police officers at the scene and of a federal criminal complaint statement in which neither account for her presence. The federal criminal complaint was filed against Davis’, and recounts the 16-year-old's version of the events.
Taylor was a star defenseman on the New York Giants, and led the team to the super bowl in 1986. He received the NFL Defensive player of the year in 1981, 1982, and 1986.