Lawrence Taylor pleads guilty; six years’ probation, sex-offender status are likely
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Lawrence Taylor, the former NFL football star, pleaded guilty Thursday in New York to two misdemeanors — sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute — and faces an expected sentence of six years’ probation with the requirement that he register as a sex offender.
The NFL Hall of Famer, sometime actor and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ contestant, 51, was arrested in May at a New York hotel and initially charged with offenses including third-degree rape of an underage girl.
‘She told me she was 19,’ Taylor said Thursday in court as he admitted having sex with a prostitute who turned out to be a 16-year-old Bronx runaway. He said he now knows the girl was legally incapable of consent. The teen said in May that the beating had come from her pimp.
Prosecutors said the deal was acceptable in part because Taylor had helped with human-trafficking investigations since he was charged; the girl involved had been transported to the hotel by another person.
‘This story is so far from his character,’ Lynette Taylor said around the time of her husband’s arrest. Plus, ‘I know my husband’s taste’ regarding appearance and activities, she said, and the teen ‘had nothing to offer him.’ Taylor originally pleaded not guilty to third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child. He’d been resisting a plea deal for months and it seems to have paid off: In December prosecutors said he’d been offered a six-month jail term and 10 years’ probation in exchange for pleading guilty to a felony.
Sentencing is set for March 22, at which time the judge will determine Taylor’s sex-offender level. LT’s lawyer said he would seek to have his client’s probation transferred to Florida, where the former player now lives.
— Christie D’Zurilla
The Associated Press contributed to this report.