Reporting Al Jones
NEW CITY, NY (AP/1010 WINS/WCBS 880) - — No plea offer is in the works, at least now, in pro football great Lawrence Taylor’s rape case, his lawyer said Thursday.
Taylor remains free on bail after appearing in a suburban court on charges of having sex with a 16-year-old prostitute. The ex-NFL MVP is accused of paying $300 for sex with the Bronx runaway in a suburban hotel room in May.
The linebacker, who led the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991, has pleaded not guilty to third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child.
Taylor’s only remarks Thursday were to wish journalists “a nice day” as he entered the Rockland County courthouse.
Attorney Arthur Aidala said his client is calling the legal shots and is leaning toward going to trial.
“There’s no offer on the table,” Aidala said outside court. “At some point, if it’s appropriate, and Mr. Taylor tells me to do so, I’ll go in and just see what a deal would be. And then Mr. Taylor would make whatever decision he wants. … A trial is a very stressful situation.”
“He is indicating, though, quite strongly that he’s probably going to seriously consider his right to trial,” said Aidala.
The attorney said Taylor, who had a highly publicized struggle with drug addiction, is celebrating “his 12th year of kicking those demons that plagued him.”
Taylor was arrested May 6 after the girl’s uncle contacted New York City police. Officers from Ramapo woke him at a Holiday Inn in Montebello.
Police said he was cooperative and no drugs were found in the room, although a bottle of alcohol was.
In a related case, federal prosecutors in Manhattan filed a complaint against Rasheed Davis, who is accused of acting as the girl’s pimp and who allegedly assaulted her and brought her to Taylor’s hotel room against her will. Court papers in that case say Taylor admitted to sex acts with the girl but was told the girl was 19.
Ramapo police Chief Peter Brower said after Taylor’s arrest that ignorance of a minor’s age is not a defense to third-degree rape.
Aidala has denied Taylor and the girl had sex. One potential trial witness was a 23-year-old woman who told defense investigators that she heard the girl say after meeting Taylor, “It was weird. … We didn’t even have sex.”
Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. A quick, fierce and athletic linebacker who redefined his position, he was selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Last year, he competed in ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” He had also been a spokesman for the NutriSystem weight-loss company, but he was dropped after his arrest.
At a previous court appearance, Taylor looked at the reporters filling the gallery and said, “It must be a slow news day.” Earlier, when a reporter asked outside court if he was guilty, Taylor responded, “Grow up.”
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