NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor celebrated with a cigar on Friday and pledged to concentrate on his "broken life" after a jury rejected a woman's claims that he assaulted her by failing to recognize her distress when he had sex with her in a hotel room when she was 16 years old.
The jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan deliberated for about an hour before siding with Taylor, who appeared relieved as he turned around and gave a thumbs-up to a friend on a court bench behind him. Outside court, Taylor signed a copy of the verdict sheet belonging to his lawyer, Arthur Aidala, and then spoke about his future and his past.
Taylor, led the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991, said he wanted to go home to Broward County, Fla., and "concentrate on my own broken life and try to repair that."
Asked to elaborate, he said: "I've done a lot of things I need to address. I look forward to going home."
Outside the courthouse, Taylor, whose post-NFL life has been marred by missteps including drug and tax charges, smoked a cigar. When asked what kind, he said, "Redemption."
The verdict came after a four-day trial in which Taylor testified that he had sex with a "very, very pretty" prostitute in 2010 but denied accusations that he ignored obvious signs she was a teen runaway who had been beaten and forced to meet with him. He said she told him she was 19.
The meeting occurred in his room at a Holiday Inn in Montebello, just north of New York City, where he paid $300 to Cristina Fierro after the sexual encounter.
Fierro said another man forced her to have sex with Taylor. She said she brought the lawsuit to hold Taylor accountable.
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.
Fierro's lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment after the verdict.
Taylor, though, said he regretted that he did not know when he met Fierro about the true circumstances of their meeting.
"I feel for what she has gone through," he said. "At the time, I wasn't a bad person, and if I had known what was going on, I would have helped her. I hope the best for her."
He shook his head as he spoke quietly about his missed opportunity.
"I'm a sensitive person. I love people," he said. "She was in good hands."
During the trial, Fierro wept as she described the sexual encounter, saying the hulking Taylor failed 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 testified that Fierro "didn't seem to have a problem" and "didn't tell me to stop."
Taylor, who played in the NFL for 13 seasons and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, had already pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges of sexual misconduct and patronizing an underage prostitute and is serving six years of probation.
Outside court, he cited "changing times" and said there were many lessons to be learned from his encounter with Fierro and everything that came afterward.
"We're not in the '80s. We're not in the '90s anymore," he said. "You have to govern yourself accordingly."
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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