Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor was arrested Thursday in connection with the rape of a 16-year-old girl in a suburban New York City hotel room, and another man is accused of bringing her there, police said.
The former New York Giants linebacker was arrested early Thursday at a Holiday Inn in Suffern, said Christopher St. Lawrence, supervisor of the town of Ramapo. The victim was 16, one year below the legal age of consent in New York, St. Lawrence said.
An attorney for Taylor, Kenneth Gribetz, said he expected Taylor to be arraigned later Thursday.
“We’re confident his innocence will be proven,” he said.
A second man was arrested in the case, New York City police said. Rasheed Davis, 36, was arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police said Davis drove the girl, who had been staying with him in the Bronx for a few weeks, to the Holiday Inn and told her she had to have sex with Taylor. She said she refused, Taylor sexually assaulted her, then he paid her $300, which she gave to Davis, police said.
On the way back from Suffern, the girl sent text messages to her uncle spelling out what had happened, said a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak about the case. The uncle then went to the NYPD, the official said.
There was no phone number listed at the address provided by police for Davis and it wasn’t clear if he had an attorney. His relationship with the girl was unclear.
The Bronx district attorney’s office refused to comment.
Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999 and competed in ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” last year. He had a highly publicized struggle with drug addiction and has had multiple legal run-ins in retirement.
A quick, fierce and athletic linebacker who redefined his position, Taylor anchored the Giants’ defense and led New York to Super Bowls titles in 1987 and 1991. He was selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.
A 10-time Pro Bowler, he was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1986 and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1986. He recorded 132 1/2 sacks, which doesn’t included his 9 sacks in 1981 when the statistic wasn’t official.
In 2001, Taylor was convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia in New Jersey. The conviction stemmed from the September 1998 discovery in a hotel room of a butane torch and other materials commonly used to smoke crack.
In 1996 and 1997, he was arrested in South Carolina and Florida on drug charges. In those cases, he either admitted his guilt or agreed to enter a pretrial intervention program.
In 2000, he drew five years of federal probation for filing false tax returns and for tax evasion.