Lawrence Taylor At Center Of Underage Rape Investigation
Retired American football icon Lawrence Taylor has been arrested on suspicion of rape following an incident with a minor at a New York hotel on Thursday.
The former New York Giants player was taken into custody by the Town of Ramapo police in the early hours of Thursday amid allegations he was involved in a sexual assault at the Holidome Hotel in Montebello.
Taylor, 51, has yet to be formally charged but is facing a count of third degree rape, which involves intercourse with a minor.
The alleged victim's identity has not been revealed but Ramapo supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence has confirmed the girl, who is believed to be 15, was treated for injuries.
He tells local newspaper The Journal News, "She was a runaway since March and there was a pimp involved. She got punched in the face. We're not sure who did it."
In a statement, Detective Lieutenant Brad Weidel says, "Charges will be filed upon the completion of our investigation."
According to TMZ.com, cops arrived to find Taylor - who has a history of drug abuse - asleep in the hotel room and detectives recovered evidence including a used condom. No drugs or paraphernalia were found at the scene.
A police press conference is scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon, when investigators are expected to provide more details about the case.
Taylor, an NFL Hall of Famer, has denied the allegations and his lawyer, Kenneth Gribetz, tells TMZ.com his client is "extremely upset about the situation". His third wife, Lynette Taylor, has also stood by her husband, branding the claims "all bulls**t".
The retired sportsman lives in Pembroke Pines, Florida, but also owns a property in New Jersey, close to Montebello in New York.
He played for the New York Giants from 1981 to 1993 and is considered to be one of the greatest linebackers of all time, but the final years of his career were marred by arrests for drug and alcohol issues.
In recent years, Taylor has worked to rebuild his reputation away from the field, working as a TV sports commentator and even taking part in reality show "Dancing With The Stars" last year.
UPDATE: Taylor has been released on $75,000 bail after he was arraigned on rape charges late Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors requested bail be set at $100,000 but the judge presiding over the case set the bond at $75,000 after Taylor's lawyer protested the amount, branding it "ludicrous."
In a press conference held immediately after Taylor's arraignment, his attorney Arthur Aidala insisted his client was innocent, stating, "My client did not have sex with her... Lawrence Taylor did not rape anyone."
Aidala added, "He's devastated, absolutely devastated."
If convicted, Taylor faces up to four years in prison.