By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 7, 2010; D03
Lawrence Taylor, the former New York Giants linebacker whose quarterback-chasing exploits secured him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was arrested by police in the Suffern, N.Y., area early Thursday morning and charged with rape.
Authorities accused Taylor of paying $300 for sex with a 16-year-old runaway from New York City. The alleged victim in the case, who was identified only by her initials during Taylor's arraignment Thursday afternoon, was accompanied to Taylor's hotel room by a man who later was arrested in New York, authorities said.
Taylor's attorney denied the allegations and said he will contest the charges vigorously in court.
Taylor was charged with third-degree rape -- a felony involving sex with a minor below the age of 17 -- and patronizing a prostitute in the third degree, a misdemeanor. The felony charge is punishable by up to four years in jail and the misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to a year in jail, authorities said at an afternoon news conference.
A judge set bail for Taylor at $75,000.
Taylor's attorney, Arthur Aidala, said at a news conference Taylor "did not have sex with anybody," disputing an account by authorities that Taylor acknowledged to investigators that he paid for intercourse.
Authorities said that police entered Taylor's room at a Holiday Inn around 3:55 a.m. and arrested him. The incident occurred early Thursday morning, said Christopher P. St. Lawrence, the supervisor of the town of Ramapo, N.Y. Investigators found a bottle of alcohol but no drugs in the hotel room, said Peter Brower, the chief of police in Ramapo.
The alleged victim was 15 when she was reported missing in New York in March, St. Lawrence said. He said she was accompanied to Taylor's hotel room by a man identified by authorities as Rasheed Davis.
The alleged victim contacted her uncle on Thursday while being driven back to New York by Davis, authorities said. Her uncle contacted police and officers arrested Davis in New York, according to authorities. According to the Associated Press, Davis was arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The AP described Davis as a 36-year-old parolee and reported that the alleged victim had been staying with him in the Bronx in recent weeks. The AP reported that, according to police, Davis punched and kicked the alleged victim, took her to Taylor's hotel against her will and told her to have sex with Taylor.
Taylor, 51, played for the Giants from 1981 until 1993. He was selected to 10 Pro Bowls and was named the NFL's defensive player of the year for the 1981, '82 and '86 seasons. Taylor was named to the NFL's 75th anniversary team in 1994 and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1999. He is regarded as one of the top pass rushers in the history of the sport.
Taylor has had legal problems in the past, including multiple arrests on drug-related charges. But he has said his drug problems are behind him.