Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor is under arrest, accused of raping a 16-year-old girl -- an encounter allegedly arranged by a pimp.
Taylor was arrested early Thursday morning at a hotel in Rockland County, a suburb of New York City.
The teenager was a runaway from The Bronx. Police say on the way back from the alleged incident with Taylor Wednesday night, she texted an uncle, who called police. Police intercepted the car, arrested the alleged pimp, and saved the girl.
She was taken to a hospital where she was treated for a black eye and other injuries. Police say she sustained the injuries when the alleged pimp, Rasheed Davis, beat her up before driving her to the hotel and forcing her to have sex with Taylor.
Davis “struck the young girl with his fist, kicked her and brought her to the Holiday Inn against her will,” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
Taylor was arraigned Thursday afternoon on third-degree rape charges, which involves sex with a minor, and for patronizing a prostitute. Reports say Taylor kept his head down during the court hearing. He didn't say anything, and showed no emotion as the judge read the charges. Bail was set at $75,000.
Ramapo Chief of Police Peter Brower would not comment on whether Taylor knew how young she was, saying, “Ignorance is not an excuse to an individual’s age.”
But his lawyer says the 51-year-old Taylor is innocent. "We firmly contend he is innocent of the charges and will be fully exonerated," Kenneth Gribetz told the Journal News.
Taylor's wife echoes that, telling TMZ.com the whole thing is "a set-up."
Davis is charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Taylor has had trouble with the law before. He was arrested twice in the mid-1990s for buying crack from undercover officers. Taylor was in and out of rehab, but he now says he has been drug-free since 1998.