By Doug Halberstadt
I think it’s pretty obvious who gets the “Knucklehead Athlete of the Week” award this week. In a unanimous decision, the shameful distinction goes to National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor.
Early Last Thursday (May 6) morning, Taylor was arrested and taken into custody by the Ramapo, N.Y., Police Department. He was escorted in handcuffs out of his hotel room at the Holiday Inn Suffern, in Montebello, N.Y.
Taylor was charged with third-degree rape and soliciting prostitution in a case involving a 16-year-old girl. He was accused of paying the girl $300 for sex. Taylor’s lawyer, Arthur L. Aidala, said Taylor denied having sex with the girl. “My client did not have sex with anybody,” Aidala said. “Lawrence Taylor did not rape anybody.”
Taylor was released after posting a $75,000 bond. If he were found guilty of the solicitation charge, he would face a maximum of one year in prison. The third-degree rape charge carries a maximum sentence of four years. The solicitation charge is a misdemeanor; the rape charge is a felony. Taylor was released after posting a $75,000 bond.
Taylor was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999 and was one of the competitors on Dancing With the Stars last year. He had a highly-publicized struggle with drug addiction, and has had multiple legal run-ins since retiring from football. In November of last year, he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Miami.
In 2001, Taylor was convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia in New Jersey. The conviction stemmed from the September 1998 discovery in a hotel room of a butane torch and other materials commonly used to smoke crack.
In 1996 and 1997, he was arrested in South Carolina and Florida on drug charges. In those cases, he either admitted his guilt or agreed to enter a pretrial intervention program.
In 2000, he drew five years of federal probation for filing false tax returns and for tax evasion.
Taylor is due in court again on the latest charges June 10.
Lawrence Taylor, you are the “Knucklehead Athlete of the Week”!
From the May 12-18, 2010 issue