Lawrence Taylor Accepts Plea Deal in Statutory Rape Case
Taylor, 51, entered guilty pleas to charges of sexual misconduct and soliciting a prostitute, after the events that took place at a Rockland County (N.Y.) hotel in May.
According to the New York Post, Taylor answered, "Yes," when asked if he had paid for sex. "She told me she was 19," he added.
Taylor is expected to be sentenced to six years' probation when he returns to court on March 22. He faced four years in prison under the original charges.
"We made a decision to aggressively prosecute this case, notwithstanding a defendant in the public eye," Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe said in a statement. "Today's agreed-upon plea reflects that. It is up to law enforcement and prosecutors to fight the demand that drives the underage sex business. Prostitution implies the young women as being complicit. But, these young women, and sometimes young men, are victims, not criminals."
Zugibe said Taylor's guilty plea will force the former New York Giants standout to register as a sex offender in accordance with New York's Megan's Law statute. Taylor was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
The sanctions against Taylor "will undoubtedly serve as a deterrent to 'johns' who support the demand of teenagers for their own sexual gratification," Zugibe said.
A message left with Arthur Aidala, Taylor's attorney, was not immediately returned.
New York has three levels to its sex registry and exactly where Taylor will fall will be determined at a hearing. Those deemed to be at Level 1, for instance, aren't part of the statewide database of offenders.
"The district attorney probably accomplished the objectives he wanted to achieve," said Jonathan Ripps, a lawyer in nearby Suffern, N.Y. "I would say this was a fair plea. Would somebody not named 'Lawrence Taylor' received the same deal? I would say so."
Taylor allegedly paid $300 for sex with a 16-year-old runaway at a Holiday Inn in Montebello, N.Y. The girl was allegedly forced into prostitution by Rasheed Davis, who later pleaded not guilty to sexual trafficking charges brought by federal authorities.
"Behind the celebrity, this case is really about the indifference shown by this defendant toward a troubled, young woman forced into a life of prostitution," Zugibe said.
Taylor was charged with third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, charges that could have brought four years in prison. He rejected a plea bargain previously that would have called for six months in jail.