NEW YORK (CBS 2/AP) ― The New York rape case against former pro football great Lawrence Taylor is moving forward without his imposing presence.

The Rockland County district attorney’s office said Taylor was not required or expected to attend Tuesday’s court conference.

The former NFL star was accused of paying $300 to have sex with a 16-year-old girl in a Montebello hotel room, a Bronx runaway who was allegedly forced into prostitution.

Taylor was accompanied by his wife, attorney and business advisor and surrounded by about a dozen news crews. He quietly strode into the Rockland County Courthouse on July 13 to personally answer rape charges. The hearing itself lasted less than half an hour, and was highlighted by Taylor’s ‘not guilty’ plea.

“He’s doing the best he can under the circumstances,” said attorney Arthur Aidala. “Any human being who’s charged in the criminal justice system is under enormous pressure. The type of pressure…that a person only understands if they’ve walked in the shoes.”

Defense attorney Arthur Aidala said last month he expects to file motions challenging the girl’s identification of Taylor and other prosecution claims.

Last time he was in court, the 6’3″ Taylor joked about the number of media outlets covering him.

The Hall of Famer, who led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories, also had his share of bouts with drug use and had other run-ins with the law. After the most recent one, he lost a lucrative endorsement from Nutrisystem.

“We all know he did drugs. He’s done with drugs,” she said. “He is a wonderful husband, father, friend and a beautiful person, inside and out.”

“In any criminal case, at any point, a plea bargain is a possibility,” he said. “We’re not ruling anything out.”

Taylor remains free on $75,000 bond. If convicted, he could spend up to 4 years in prison.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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