Lawrence Taylor pleads guilty to 2 misdemeanors

NEW CITY - (AP) - Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor pleadedguilty Thursday to sexual misconduct and patronizing a 16-year-oldprostitute, misdemeanor charges that carry no jail time but requirehim to register as a sex offender. The 51-year-old ex-linebacker, who led the New York Giants toSuper Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991, will serve six years'probation. "She told me she was 19," Taylor, standing with his handsclasped behind him, said in court as he admitted having intercoursewith the prostitute, who turned out to be a Bronx runaway. Taylorsaid he now knows the girl was 16 and legally incapable of consent. He said he paid her $300. Harry Carson, a former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer, was inthe courtroom and gave Taylor a supportive handshake when hearrived. Prosecutor Patricia Gunning said the plea deal was acceptable inpart because Taylor had assisted in investigations into humantrafficking since he was charged. Another prosecutor, ArthurFerraro, said outside court that Taylor "was of assistance in thefield of human trafficking in several jurisdictions and withfederal authorities." Defense attorney Arthur Aidala said that "obviously" includeda federal case against the man charged with being the 16-year-old'spimp. Aidala said Taylor decided the plea bargain was in everyone'sbest interest. "He could have taken a much more aggressive road but he decidedit was in the best interest of he and his family and the youngwoman to put this behind him," Aidala said. "Mr. Taylor's notproud of what happened. ... He patronized a prostitute and thatprostitute happened to be under the age of 17." Taylor had resisted a plea deal for months after pleading notguilty to third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuseand endangering a child. Prosecutors said in December that Taylor had been offered asix-month jail term and 10 years' probation in exchange forpleading guilty to a felony. Aidala had called that offerunacceptable but said he would listen to any other offers.

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