*Former NFL great Lawrence Taylor was sentenced to six years’ probation today in a Montebello sex case, with the teen girl he’s accused of paying for sex making a surprise appearance in the courtroom and holding a press conference afterward to denounce the sentence.
The 52-year-old ex-linebacker pleaded guilty in January to sexual misconduct and patronizing the then-16-year-old runaway in May 2010 at the Holiday Inn in Montebello. Under the deal, Taylor doesn’t get jail time, but he must pay a $1,400 fine and register as a sex offender.
State Supreme Court Justice William A. Kelly will hold a risk assessment hearing on April 12 to determine which sex-offender level to assign to Taylor. (Sex offenders are labeled Level 1, 2 or 3 for low, medium or high risk. A state spokesman says the most obvious difference is that Level 1 offenders do not have their names and photos posted on a public Internet site.)
Kelly has indicated that Taylor will be able to see his grandchildren and continue charity activities where he comes into contact with youth.
Taylor will serve out his probation in Florida, where he lives.
Before sentencing Taylor, Kelly ruled that the teen girl involved in the case could not read a victim impact statement in court because there was no felony conviction in the case and the defense had not been given a 10-day notice before sentencing, both required by law, reports lohud.com, a news website for New York’s Lower Hudson Valley.
The girl, now 17, showed up in court for Taylor’s sentencing and held a news conference afterward outside the Rockland County Courthouse in New City with her lawyer, Gloria Allred. The girl’s name was not revealed. She is identified by the initials C.F. in court papers.
The Bronx teenager whom Taylor’s accused of paying $300 for sex lashed out at the probationary sentence given to the retired NFL great, saying she’s a crime victim and should not be labeled a prostitute.
She said accused pimp Rasheed Davis of the Bronx beat her up and forced her to enter the hotel room where Taylor was staying.
Davis faces federal charges of human trafficking that involved using violence. She had run away from her Bronx family and had been living with Davis and another woman.
“C.F.” said Taylor should have known she was underage because she wore a pony tail and no make-up, though she told him on Davis’ orders that he was 19 years old. She said she should have known that something was amiss because of her bruised face.
She was about a week away from the legal age of 17 when she had sex with Taylor.
“I think Mr. Taylor should spend time in jail for what he did to me,” she said. “I believe Mr. Taylor saw my face and swollen eye. I told him I’ve never done this before. All he told me was to relax.”
She said she was afraid that if she didn’t have sex with Taylor, Davis would beat her again. She said this was the first time she ever had sex for money.
“I am not a prostitute,” she said. “It makes me sick that I’ve been labeled one. I am a victim. I am hurting.”
Allred, known for her flamboyant public news conferences, declined comment on whether the teen took money from Taylor for sex as claimed by Taylor, the police and prosecutors. Allred also declined to comment on whether she was planning a lawsuit against Taylor.
Allred also refused to discuss the teenager’s relationship with Davis, who police have accused of plying her with drugs and alcohol before sex with men.
“My client is a 16-year-old victim and was not a prostitute when she met Mr. Taylor,” Allred said.
Despite the girl’s negative view of Taylor’s sentence, Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said his prosecutors and investigators kept in touch with the girl throughout the case and she agreed to the non-jail, probationary sentence for Taylor.
Zugibe called the girl a victim of human sex trafficking and blasted Taylor for helping to create a market for young girls being exploited as prostitutes.
“This case has shone a spotlight on the dark underworld of sex trafficking,” Zugibe said. “By targeting ‘johns’, such as this defendant, we can help to free victims from their abusers. Sex trafficking is a violent and degrading crime that will not be tolerated.”