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A grand jury today indicted Giants legend Lawrence Taylor on charges he raped a teenage girl in an upstate motel last month -- a clear signal the sex case that threatens to irrevocably tarnish the reputation of the beloved NFL Hall-of-Famer is steadily moving forward.
The grand jury also indicted Taylor on charges of endangering the welfare of a child, patronizing a prostitute, engaging in a criminal sexual act and two counts of sexual abuse. The third-degree rape charge alone carries up to four years in jail.
Police arrested the ex-linebacker in early May after allegations surfaced he paid a 16-year-old runaway $300 for oral sex at a Holiday Inn in Rockland County. Taylor and his lawyers maintain his innocence -- a contention supported by a friend of the alleged victim who had traveled to the hotel with the girl to meet Taylor.
The 23-year-old woman, who hasn't been identified, said in a sworn statement the underage runaway bragged about making money without actually having sex.
Today's indictment alleges otherwise.
"The defendant, in the County of Rockland, in the State of New York, on or about the 6th day of May, 2010, being 21 years old or more, engaged in oral sexual conduct with a person less than 17 years old identified by the initials 'C.F.,' whose identity is fully known to the Grand Jury," the indictment states.
The victim later told investigators that she had been verbally threatened, physically assaulted and brought to the hotel room by another individual, who was arrested by the New York City Police Department.
The indictment alleges she was forced to perform numerous sexual acts for money and hand the cash over to her alleged pimp, Rasheed Davis.
"The defendant in this case is the end-user in the criminal chain known as sex trafficking," District Attorney Zugibe said of Taylor in a statement. "Any effort to successfully combat this epidemic must confront not only the supply of vulnerable young women, but the demand which perpetuates this unsavory and illegal activity. We are going to hold those who create the demand accountable."
Taylor's due back in Rockland County court July 13.
A federal criminal complaint against Davis alleges he 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. A 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.
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.