October 25, 2012
By TOM HAYS / Associated Press
NFL great Lawrence Taylor, reliving a night to forget, admitted on Wednesday that he paid for sex with a "very, very pretty" prostitute in 2010 but denied accusations that he ignored obvious signs she was a teen runaway in distress.
Taylor, 53, told a Manhattan jury at a civil trial that he had a history of hiring women for "company" when on the road but didn't expect them to automatically have sex with him.
"I still like the chase," Taylor testified. But he added, "I like to stack the odds in my favor. ... I don't like to work too hard."
The former New York Giants linebacker was arrested in 2010 after having sex with the then-16-year-old girl in a hotel room in Montebello, just north of New York City. He's serving six months of probation after pleading guilty last year to misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct and patronizing an underage prostitute.
His accuser, Cristina Fierro, claims that an abusive pimp forced her to have sex with Taylor for $300. She sued Taylor in federal court in Manhattan, claiming he should be held accountable.
The Brooklyn-born Fierro, 19, wept while testifying on Wednesday that a hulking Taylor refused to stop having sex with her, even after she told him it hurt and tried to push him away.
"I kept telling him I didn't want to be there," she said. "He's much bigger than me. I couldn't do anything."
Taylor, in his testimony, painted a much different picture, saying he was respectful to Fierro after a friend arranged for her to go to his room after midnight in the spring of 2010. During "chit chat," she told him she was 19 years old and Dominican, he said.
"I thought she was very, very pretty," he said. "I thought she was a cute girl. ... I thought she was very sexy."
He testified that he tried to perform oral sex on her but stopped when she resisted "because a lot of island girls don't like that."
But after that, "She didn't seem to have a problem," he said. "She didn't tell me to stop."
Taylor's lawyer has called Fierro's lawsuit, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, "a money grab" because of Taylor's fame.
Taylor, who lives in Broward County, Fla., led the Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.
The Associated Press doesn't normally publish the names of accusers in sexual-assault cases unless they agree to be named or identify themselves publicly, as Fierro has done.
Taylor was expected to resume testifying on Thursday.