Lawrence Taylor, the former New York Giants linebacker and registered sex offender, was arrested in Florida last week after authorities said he failed to notify them of his new address, as required by law.
The Hall-of-Fame defensive back was taken into custody in Miami Thursday night and charged with two felonies for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, according to TMZ. He was released on bond within a few hours
But Arthur Aidala, the 62-year-old’s attorney, claimed on Monday the arrest was the result of a simple mix-up.
“Sadly [Taylor] is in the middle of a divorce and his local police department suggested it would be best if he slept at a nearby hotel,” the lawyer told the Associated Press.
“Mr. Taylor was constantly a resident of the marital home where he was registered, but on advice of local law enforcement he was sleeping outside the home,” Aidala continued. “We are confident that this will be resolved favorably for Lawrence at the first court hearing.”
Lawrence Taylor ‘Mix-Up’ Stems From 2011 Charges
Taylor, an eight-time All Pro and number 2 draft pick, was ordered to register as a sex offender in 2011. He had pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute who was 16 years old at the time of the 2010 encounter, according to court records.
The former Giant has said he believed the girl was a legal adult.
“This was a working girl who came into my room. She told me she was 19. It is what it is,” he told Fox News a decade ago. “I don’t card them. I don’t ask them for a birth certificate […] I didn’t pick her up on no playground.”
After pleading guilty, Taylor was given six years of probation and was registered as a “low-risk” registered sex offender by order of a judge. Under law, registered sex offenders must notify authorities when their vital contact information changes — including addresses and legal names.
Not the First Controversy for Taylor
Last week’s arrest was not the first time in recent memory Taylor found himself behind bars.
In 2016, the former linebacker was accused of driving under the influence in Florida after state troopers said he struck a parked police car on the turnpike. After he pleaded guilty to the charge in 2017, the Giant got a year of probation, had his license suspended, and was ordered to have a breathalyzer installed in his car.
In 2009, Taylor was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident in Miami. He was charged and later released on bail, though it’s not clear how the case concluded. The other driver later filed a civil suit for $15,000.
Even in his playing days, Taylor’s personal life made him the subject of controversy. According to a 2004 profile by CBS Sports, the linebacker regularly used cocaine throughout his stint in the NFL. He reportedly “borrowed” his teammates urine to pass the league’s drug screenings, and said at one point he was spending thousands of dollars a day on “coke and women.”
He tested positive for the drug in 1987, and was suspended for 30 days after a second positive test the next season. In 1993, a third positive test ended his football days for good.
Taylor spent his entire NFL career with the New York Giants, from being selected as the second overall draft pick in 1981 to his unceremonious retirement in 1993. In that time, the team brought home two Super Bowl rings, and Taylor earned a reputation as one of the greatest defensive backs in the history of the game.