Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty Thursday to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute, misdemeanor charges that carry no jail time but require him to register as a sex offender.
The 51-year-old ex-linebacker, who reached the Hall of Fame after leading the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991, must serve six years of probation.
“She told me she was 19,” Taylor, standing with his hands clasped behind him, said in court as he admitted having sex with a prostitute who turned out to be a 16-year-old Bronx runaway. Taylor said he now knows the girl was legally incapable of consent.
He previously had pleaded not guilty to third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child.
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Prosecutor Patricia Gunning said the plea deal was acceptable in part because Taylor had assisted in investigations into human trafficking since he was charged. Another prosecutor, Arthur Ferraro, said outside court that Taylor “was of assistance in the field of human trafficking in several jurisdictions and with federal authorities.”
Taylor was arrested in May at a Montebello, N.Y., hotel.
CAM NEWTON GOES PRO
Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, who guided Auburn to its first national title since 1957 and a 14-0 season, will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. The dual-threat quarterback played under a cloud the last two months of the season after reports surfaced that his father, Cecil, shopped his services during Mississippi State’s recruitment of his son. Kentucky All-American Randall Cobb will bypass his senior season and head to the NFL. Cobb led Kentucky with 955 yards receiving, 401 yards rushing and 12 total touchdowns.
Former Carolina coach John Fox was picked over four other candidates to coach the Denver Broncos and replace Josh McDaniels, who was fired Dec. 6 amid the Broncos’ worst slide in four decades. Denver is coming off a franchise-worst 4-12 season. Pat Shurmur, St. Louis’ offensive coordinator the past two years, was hired by the Cleveland Browns, ending a search for their fifth coach since 1999 that began when team president Mike Holmgren fired Eric Mangini on Jan. 3 after his second straight 11-loss season.
The NFL and its players’ union acknowledged they have not held a large-group negotiating session since November – and there are no formal meetings scheduled to work toward a new collective bargaining agreement, which expires in seven weeks. Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, who never adjusted to Washington’s new 3-4 defense and had a season-long struggle with coach Mike Shanahan, is still under contract and could return to the Redskins next season, said Bruce Allen, the team’s general manager