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Taylor Pleads Not Guilty To Rape Charge

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NEW CITY, N.Y. -- Lawrence Taylor pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning in a Rockland County Court to charges of statutory rape and solicitation stemming from his arrest in May in a New York hotel room.


Taylor allegedly paid $300 to a 16-year-old Bronx runaway for their encounter in May. Taylor pleaded not guilty through his lawyer to third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child.


Following the hearing, as he walked to a waiting car holding his wife's hand, Taylor was asked if he looked forward to his day in court. "Hopefully it don't go that far," the 51-year-old Taylor said.


His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said it was a very ordinary day in the criminal justice system. After the plea was entered, the Rockland County district attorney asked for an extension of the order of protection first issued, to keep Taylor away from the alleged victim identified as C.F. Again, Aidala protested the order.


"It is Mr. Taylor's position that this person is an absolute stranger to him and he doesn't know who this person is," Aidala said.


"Then he should stay away from this person he doesn't know," said the judge in the case, William Nelson.


Taylor's next court date is set for Aug. 3, but the Hall of Fame linebacker won't have to appear again until Aug. 24. Aidala said the case is on track to go to trial in the winter, and the next few months will be used to ascertain physical evidence against Taylor, how he was identified and the statement he made to authorities the night of his arrest.


Mark Lepselter, Taylor's longtime agent, said Taylor has been affected by the proceedings.


"He's been very subdued for the past two months from the day back in May," Lepselter said. "I haven't seen him like this. Mentally he's trying to get through it."


Bail in the amount of $75,000 was continued, and the court is still in possession of Taylor's passport.



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