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Woman says Taylor did not have sex with teen

The mugshot of the alleged pimp in the Lawrence Taylor case.
May 14, 2010 5:25:43 PM PDT
A woman has come forward as a defense witness in the sexual assault case against Lawrence Taylor, saying the 16-year-old girl who accused the NFL legend of rape never had sex with him, according to a statement from the woman confirmed Friday by Taylor's attorney.

The 23-year-old woman said in a sworn statement that she accompanied an alleged pimp and the 16-year-old girl to a hotel outside New York City where Taylor was staying. She said the teenager returned to the car with $300 in cash and said: "It was weird ... we didn't even have sex."

"He's innocent. She's lying. She wasn't raped," she said in the statement.

The statement was given to investigators working for the defense team and seen by The Associated Press. Defense attorney Arthur Aidala said he was planning to use the woman's testimony in the case.

The 16-year-old girl has never been identified publicly by police. The probe is being handled by the Ramapo police department, and Detective Lt. Brad Weidel said Friday the department had no comment. The Rockland County district attorney's office did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The woman is a stripper who lived in a Bronx apartment with the alleged pimp, Rasheed Davis, and the girl. She said in the statement that she was with the two when New York City police arrested Davis and took the girl to a hospital.

The woman's account differs from those of police and of a federal criminal complaint in the case. Neither official account mentioned her.

The woman said in the statement that she waited with Davis for about 45 minutes while the girl was inside Taylor's hotel room, and that the girl knew she was there to meet the famous NFL star. Inside the room, Taylor rubbed himself on the girl, but they did not have sex, according to the woman's account.

"She wasn't sad, mad or anything like that," the woman said of the 16-year-old when she returned to the vehicle after being in Taylor's hotel room.

In the statement, the woman gave specific details of the teen's trip to the hotel and back. For example, she said that she got to the Holiday Inn in Suffern, N.Y., via the Tappan Zee Bridge from the Bronx, and described what the teen was wearing.

The AP saw the woman's statement on the condition that she not be identified. The defense said she feared possible retribution after she provided the statement on Monday.

Her account was first reported in the Daily News of New York and The New York Post. She said she has known Rasheed Davis for a while, but had only recently met the 16-year-old.

Taylor, 51, was charged May 6 with third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute. Aidala has denied the charges. Davis was charged in Manhattan federal court last Thursday with sex trafficking and was being held without bail. His attorney did not comment on the charges.

Mark Lepselter, Taylor's business manager, said Friday he was glad the witness came forward.

"We are pleased that this witness chose to come forward to support Lawrence Taylor's version of the events of that evening," said Lepselter, president of Maxx Sports and Entertainment.

A federal criminal complaint filed against Davis recounts the victim's version of events and makes no mention of a third person in the vehicle at the time of his arrest in the Bronx. Authorities said the teen did not know who she was meeting at the hotel room.

According to the federal complaint, Davis beat up the 16-year-old, drove her to the hotel against her will late on May 5, and waited outside for an hour while she had sex with Taylor. The witness said Davis did not beat her.

The girl sent text messages to her uncle saying she was in trouble, police said. The uncle called the NYPD, who arrested Davis once he returned to the Bronx with the teenager. The girl provided information about the hotel where Taylor was staying and was taken to a hospital where physical evidence was collected, police said.

The woman said in her statement that she did not come forward initially because she worried she would get in trouble because she knew the girl was underage. But she said she came forward because she felt bad.

Rasheed Davis was sentenced in April 1994 to eight to 25 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter, a charge stemming from a fatal shooting. He was paroled in March 2008.

Taylor anchored the Giants' defense and led them to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991. He was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-time Team.

A 10-time Pro Bowler, he was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1986 and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1986.

The weight-loss company NutriSystem Inc. dropped Taylor as a spokesman because of his arrest.

Taylor is due in court again on June 10.

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Associated Press Writer Jim Fitzgerald in White Plains, N.Y. contributed to this report.


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