No Jail Time for Lawrence Taylor

Hall of Fame football linebacker Lawrence Taylor will not spend a day in jail for paying to have sex with a 16-year-old runaway on May 6, 2010. The girl was escorted by her trafficker to Taylor’s hotel room in suburban Ramapo, New York, where Taylor paid $300 to have sex with her.

In March of last year, the girl’s family had informed the authorities that she was missing. About 293,000 children in the United States are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking, and many are runaways who are picked up by traffickers. The victim in this situation was recruited by 36-year-old parolee Rasheed Davis, who allegedly promised her a place to stay and a way to make money. Then he forced her into prostitution. On the night of the Taylor incident, she refused to go to Taylor’s hotel, so Davis allegedly kicked her, punched her and drove her there against her will. Her poor physical condition–a black eye and other facial injuries–apparently did not concern Taylor or deter him from having sex with her.

Taylor was originally charged with third-degree rape, a felony offense that carries up to four years in prison, but he pled guilty to two misdemeanors charges, soliciting a prostitute and sexual misconduct (having sex with a person too young to consent). He was given six years probation and will have to register as a sex offender. Ignorance of age is not a defense against statutory rape in New York, but apparently it mattered in this case. Taylor told the court that the victim said she was 19, and this, along with his cooperation with authorities, earned him just a slap on the wrist.

The city of New York is considered a hub for sex trafficking, but since trafficking was added to the penal code in 2008 only 25 arrests have been made (through September 2010) and only five traffickers have been sentenced. The victim in this case is classified as a “severely trafficked person” under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 because she is a minor engaged in prostitution and Davis now faces federal trafficking charges.

It’s a shame that most media coverage has missed the sex-trafficking angle, referring to Davis as a “pimp” instead of a trafficker and the minor as a “teen hooker” instead of a sex-trafficking victim.  It’s also a shame that the johns who drive the market for sex trafficking are not held accountable for their contribution to this heinous crime.

Photo by Flickr user D Sharon Pruitt, Pink Sherbet Photography, under license from Creative Commons 2.0


  1. Stephen Pennells says:

    In Australia – 2010 … A Hobart man has pleaded guilty to prostituting a 12-year-old girl to … at a CBD hotel and then at his apartment in suburban Glenorchy.

  2. nemesisbastet says:

    This makes me sick! This fool should have been sent to prison! Our laws are too lenient, which is why people continue to do crap like this!

  3. 1) Pimp = SLAVE MASTER = Trafficker = violent manipulative psychopaths that care about no one but themselves.
    2) As a nation, we need to WAKE UP about human trafficking, which includes (but is not limited to) forced prostitution of children. If you'd like to help, feel free to email me at or friend me on twitter @SoldierCoder

  4. As fare as I am concerned, the johns are just as bad or worse, as the pimps for even seeking out underage girls. It it were their neighbor's kids, any self-respecting parents would tear out the reproductive parts from these animals.

  5. snobographer says:

    I keep wondering what the media and legal response to this whole story would have been if the forcibly prostituted 16 year old had been a boy.

  6. snowisfun says:

    Lawrence J. Taylor should’ve done jail time-if he reasonably believed that she was 18 or older than a jury can acquit thoug NY law doesn’t allow this defense. But assuming the press reports are right & Lawrence J. Taylor knew this girl was underage, then yes,he should’ve gone to prison. But I want to know this. Adult women who have sex with teenage boys knowingly & repeatedly have gotten little jail time or even probation & this maybe even worse than the Taylor case if his story is to be believed that he didn’t know she was underage because the women knew they were doing it with underage boys. I’ve not heard most feminists asking for prison time or demanding = punishment for adult women who have sex with underage boys. Georgia Platts has not critiqued the legal system when women get probation for statutory rape on teen boys.

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