Former NFL player and "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Lawrence Taylor was arrested in New York on Thursday (May 6) in connection to the rape of a 16-year-old girl, according to The Associated Press.
Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said that Taylor, 51, was arrested early Thursday morning at a Holiday Inn in Suffern, New York, in connection with the rape of an unidentified 16-year-old runaway girl, who is one year younger than the legal age of sexual consent in the state. Details of the possible charges Taylor faces remain unconfirmed, though The Journal News reported that the retired athlete could be charged with third-degree rape, which involves "having intercourse with a minor."
According to reports, the girl was brought to Taylor's Rockland County hotel room by a second man, Rasheed Davis, who has been arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Following the hotel encounter, the girl reportedly contacted her uncle via text message to explain what happened, an unidentified law-enforcement official told the AP. The uncle then went to the New York Police Department with the information, leading to the arrests of Taylor and Davis.
"We firmly contend [Taylor] is innocent of the charges and will be fully exonerated," said Kenneth Gribetz, Taylor's lawyer, according to The Journal News. Regarding Taylor's current state of mind, Gribetz said, "He's upset as anyone would [be] in this situation ... he's looking forward to an early arraignment and release."
Taylor is best known for his career as a linebacker for the New York Giants from 1981 to 1993, the entirety of his professional football career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Taylor was a contestant on the eighth season of "Dancing With the Stars," which aired in 2009, and was eliminated during the seventh week of competition. Taylor has a well-documented history of legal woes, including charges of drug possession in 1996, 1997 and 2001.