Lawrence Taylor to plead guilty

By Jane MacManus / ESPNNewYork.com

Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges in court Thursday, stemming from a May 6 arrest for felony statutory rape.

The recommended sentence is six years’ probation. He could receive up to two years in jail, although his attorney, Arthur Aidala, said he believes Taylor will not get jail time.

Taylor plans to plead guilty to one count of soliciting a prostitute and a second count of sexual misconduct in having sex with a woman without consent. Since the victim in the case was 16, by law she was not old enough to give consent.

In New York, ignorance of a person’s age is not a defense against statutory rape. The age of consent in New York is 17.

Taylor also faces a sexual offender hearing, which most likely will occur in a few months. This hearing is to determine if he must register as a sex offender.

Taylor was arrested early in the morning of May 6 at a Holiday Inn in Montebello, N.Y. Police said they were led to his hotel room by a 16-year-old runaway who had allegedly been forced into prostitution by Rasheed Davis.

Davis pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking, while Taylor pleaded not guilty to charges of third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute and endangering the welfare of a child. The rape charge carried a maximum of four years in jail.

At the time of the incident, Ramapo town supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence alleged that Taylor paid her $300 for sex. Taylor posted the $75,000 bail later that day.

Aidala on Dec. 8 asked Rockland County Judge William Kelly to dismiss the charges on grounds that Taylor’s fourth amendment rights were violated when the hotel room was searched upon his arrest. Physical evidence, including condoms, was recovered in the search. Kelly denied the request.

Taylor led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles, in 1987 and 1991. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

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