Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Grand jury indicts Taylor
ESPN.com news services
NEW YORK -- Pro football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor has been indicted by a suburban New York grand jury on charges of rape, criminal sexual act and sexual abuse.
The indictment Wednesday comes after his May 6 arrest at a Holiday Inn. Prosecutors say he paid a 16-year-old girl $300 to have sex with him.
The former New York Giant was also indicted on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and patronizing a prostitute.
Taylor's longtime agent, Mark Lepselter, told ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor that Taylor's legal team wasn't surprised by the timing of the indictment.
"Lawrence's legal team made a strategic decision not to put him or any of our evidence before the grand jury, and we look forward to the legal process taking its course and allowing Lawrence to move forward with his life," Lepselter said.
Asked about Taylor's reaction to the indictment, Lepselter said that his client was hopeful that his innocence would be proven in court.
"Obviously it's not a pleasant day for Lawrence and his family, but LT's had to overcome many obstacles in the past and is hopeful he'll be able to overcome this one as well," Lepselter said.
Xiomara Lopez, the confidential assistant to the prosecutor, told ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus that the next step in the case would be a hearing. That usually happens the same day as the indictment, but she said the Rockland County District Attorney's office is having trouble getting in touch with Taylor's attorney.
Earlier Wednesday, former Rockland DA Kenneth Gribetz told ESPNNewYork.com that he was no longer representing Taylor and referred all questions to the DA's office. Taylor's lead attorney Arthur Aidala is also involved in a case currently on trial, defending William Rapetti who is accused of manslaughter due to negligence in operating a crane that toppled and killed seven people.
Lepselter said that it is expected that Taylor would appear "in court sometime in the next two weeks."
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe says the 16-year-old told investigators that she had been verbally threatened and physically assaulted. She said she was brought to the hotel room by a pimp later arrested by New York City police.
Taylor has denied the charges.