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NFL Hall of Famer Taylor Indicted on rape, child endangerment charges

By the CNN Wire Staff
Lawrence Taylor (shown in a November 2009 photo) was indicted on rape and endangerment charges on Wednesday.
Lawrence Taylor (shown in a November 2009 photo) was indicted on rape and endangerment charges on Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lawrence Taylor was arrested May 6 after girl's uncle alerted police
  • He could be sentenced to a maximum of 4 years in prison if convicted
  • He denies and "is prepared to fight" charges, his attorney says
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New York (CNN) -- Football Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor was indicted Wednesday on charges of rape and endangering the welfare of a child, stemming from an alleged sexual rendezvous with a 16-year-old in May, a suburban New York prosecutor's office said.

The indictment includes one count of rape in the third degree, one count of criminal sexual acts in the third degree, two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of patronizing a prostitute in the third degree, according to the Rockland County district attorney's office.

It also alleges that Taylor paid the minor $300 in exchange for performing sexual acts, the release says. If convicted, Taylor could be sentenced to up to four years in prison, it says.

Taylor, 51, was arrested in a Ramapo, New York, Holiday Inn room on May 6, a few hours after the alleged rape took place, authorities said at the time. Ramapo is about 30 miles northwest of New York City.

He was released on $75,000 bail at a hearing on May 6. He was not asked to enter a plea.

Taylor's attorney, Arthur Aidala, told reporters after the bail hearing that the former National Football League star "is denying and preparing to fight each and every one of those charges."

Aidala said "no violence, no force, no threat, no weapons" were involved in the case. He noted that the rape charge against Taylor was for consensual sex with a minor, and said Taylor denied it.

Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and Police Chief Peter Brower told reporters after the incident that the alleged victim was a runaway from New York's Bronx borough and had been brought to Ramapo by a pimp.

The girl texted an uncle after she returned to New York City the next day, and the uncle notified the New York City police, prompting the arrest of Taylor and the alleged pimp, St. Lawrence said. Taylor was cooperative with authorities, he said.

Taylor was a 10-time all-pro linebacker for the New York Giants from 1981 to 1993 after earning All-American honors at the University of North Carolina. He played on two Super Bowl champion teams and was inducted into the National Football League's Hall of Fame, which noted that he "redefined the way the outside linebacker position was played."

However, Taylor was twice suspended by the NFL for substance abuse and battled a cocaine addiction long after retirement, resulting in several arrests and a downward spiral that he chronicled in a 2003 autobiography.

After kicking drugs, he worked as a sports commentator and appeared as a contestant on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" in 2009.

Brower said police found a bottle of alcohol in Taylor's hotel room, but Taylor showed no sign of inebriation. He said no drugs were found in the room.

Mark Lepselter, Taylor's agent, told reporters in May that Taylor was very upset about the charges against him.

"He's worked very hard over the last 12 years to change perceptions about him," Lepselter said.

CNN's Ross Levitt, Alan Chernoff and Kristen Hamill contributed to this report.

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