*Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor signed an autograph, but did not speak, when he entered the courthouse Tuesday for a hearing before state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly in New York.
The 51-year-old has been granted a pretrial hearing next month to cross-examine police officers about his rape arrest, which his lawyer argues in a wide-ranging motion was illegal because police did not have a warrant when they burst into his suburban hotel room in May.
Justice Kelly granted the part of the motion that requested a hearing on whether any statements Taylor made upon his arrest were admissible. The hearing was scheduled for Jan. 6.
Taylor, who led the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991, is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old prostitute. He allegedly paid the Bronx runaway $300. He has pleaded not guilty to third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child.
The motion did not describe the statements he made to investigators. Court papers in a related but separate case say Taylor admitted to sex acts with the girl.
The judge’s ruling, dated Monday, was not publicly mentioned during a court session Tuesday and was not immediately filed. But Rockland County prosecutor Arthur Ferraro disclosed it afterward.
“Everything that occurred was done properly and in full accordance with the law,” Ferraro said of the arrest. “There was probable cause to believe that Lawrence Taylor had just had sex with a girl under 17 in that room.”
He said there are many instances where a warrant is not required.
Defense attorney Arthur Aidala said outside the courthouse that Taylor believes his rights were violated and is looking forward to the Jan. 6 hearing.
“There will be police officers testifying and being cross-examined to determine whether the circumstances under which Mr. Taylor gave his statements were constitutional,” Aidala said.
The judge denied the section of Aidala’s motion that asked for the indictment to be dismissed and for any evidence seized in the hotel room to be suppressed. But Aidala on Tuesday persuaded him to accept further written arguments on the evidence question. Those papers are due Dec. 15.
Taylor did not speak during the court session, most of which was conducted in secret at the bench. The Pro Football Hall of Famer also did not speak as he entered the courthouse, but he did sign an autograph for a fan with a Giants poster. He is next due in court Dec. 23.
Both lawyers said they doubted a plea agreement could be reached before the pretrial hearing. Ferraro said Taylor had been offered a six-month jail term and 10 years’ probation if he pleads guilty to a felony. He would have to register as a sex offender.
Aidala has called that offer unacceptable.