Lawrence Taylor, the former Giants linebacker, was arrested early Thursday morning and has been charged with third-degree rape and soliciting prostitution in a case involving a 16-year-old girl at a hotel in Rockland County, according to the authorities.
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press
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Taylor was taken into custody after the police were told that the girl had been brought to Taylor’s hotel room by a man who also faces charges in the case, said Christopher P. St. Lawrence, the town supervisor of Ramapo. He said the Ramapo police went to Taylor’s room at the Holiday Inn Suffern, in Montebello, and arrested him without incident just before 4 a.m. St. Lawrence said at a news conference that Taylor paid $300 for the encounter.
Taylor’s lawyer, Arthur L. Aidala, said Taylor denied having sex with the girl, who was referred to in court only by her initials because she was a minor. She was reported missing from her home in the Bronx in March.
Taylor faces a maximum of one year in prison on the solicitation charge, a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for third-degree rape, a felony, is four years.
“We have a victim who is 16 years old who has alleged that they had sex,” St. Lawrence said. “She is not allowed under New York laws to have consensual sex. She is traumatized. She’s a very young girl.”
Taylor was released after posting a $75,000 bond. He was driven away by Mark Lepselter, who said he was a friend and business associate. “I’ve never seen him this distraught,” Lepselter said.
St. Lawrence said the chain of events started when the girl’s uncle, who had reported her missing, called the New York Police Department saying he had received a text message from her. In it, she said she was being driven back to the Bronx and gave the address where she was headed. City officers went to the Bronx address and found the girl with Rasheed Davis, 36, of the Bronx, who was charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. The city officers then called the Ramapo police and asked them to arrest Taylor.
The girl had facial injuries, including a black eye, but the Ramapo police said that Taylor told them she had those injuries when she came to his room. He is not suspected in that assault, the Ramapo police said.
Taylor, 51, lists his residence as Pembroke Pines, Fla., but he also owns a home in northern New Jersey. Montebello, a village in Rockland County, is about 25 miles north of New York City. St. Lawrence said the hotel is about a half-mile from the Spook Rock Golf Course, where Taylor frequently plays.
Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999 and is considered one of the N.F.L.’s greatest defensive players. He had a 13-year career with the Giants that was marred by problems with drugs and alcohol. He was suspended by the N.F.L., in 1988, and arrested multiple times for drug possession.
In the past few years he has re-emerged as a public personality, including working in front of the camera on N.F.L. broadcasts. He has said his drug problems are in his past.
In November he was charged in Dade County, Fla., with leaving the scene of an accident. He was released on $500 bond; the case is still pending.
St. Lawrence said that the police removed evidence from Taylor’s room, where they found a bottle of alcohol but not drugs. Aidala said Taylor no longer uses drugs.
“He has been stone-cold sober for the past 12 years,” Aidala said. “That was the old Lawrence Taylor. This is the new Lawrence Taylor.”
An article on Friday about the arrest of the former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor on charges of third-degree rape and soliciting prostitution referred incorrectly to disciplinary action taken against him by the N.F.L. He was suspended once, in 1988, for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy; he was not suspended “several times.”