Via: ESPN New York
Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges in court Thursday, stemming from a May 6 arrest for felony statutory rape. He will be sentenced to six years’ probation but must register as a sex offender.
He also was ordered to pay $1,300 in fees.
Taylor, who was dressed in black from head to toe, pleaded guilty to one count of soliciting a prostitute and a second count of sexual misconduct in having sex with a woman without consent. Since the victim in the case was 16, by law she was not old enough to give consent.
In court, under oath, Taylor admitted that he had sex with a 16-year-old and he said that he was aware that results of a DNA test identified him.
“She told me she was 19,” Taylor said in court.
Sentencing is March 22. That same day, state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly will determine what level of sex offender status Taylor will have.
Taylor’s attorney, Arthur Aidala, said he would seek to have Taylor’s probation transferred to Florida, where the former player now lives.
An order of protection against Taylor also was renewed. Aidala protested the order of protection, arguing that the girl was a stranger to Taylor.
Aidala said the sex-offender status was non-negotiable but made it clear that Taylor wasn’t a sexual predator and would not be labeled as such.
Prosecutor Patricia Gunning said the plea deal was acceptable in part because Taylor had assisted in investigations into human trafficking since he was charged.
“Lawrence Taylor was the end user in the market that creates more [sex traffickers],” Gunning said. “They need to be held accountable. It’s a long fall from grace.”