NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor won his sexual assault civil trial Friday. A jury rejected claims that he assaulted then-16-year-old Cristina Fierro during a sexual encounter in 2010.
Taylor had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges of sexual misconduct and engaging in sex with an underage prostitute. He said Fierro told him she was 19, and denied accusations that he ignored signs that she was a teenage runaway. He also admitted that he paid her $300 for sex.
Fierro said she was beaten and forced to have sex with Taylor by another man. She brought the lawsuit against Taylor to hold him accountable.
“I feel for what she has gone through,” Taylor 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.”
Taylor also said he was a sensitive person and that Fierro “was in good hands.”
Fierro, however, didn’t think so, and cried as she recalled her encounter with Taylor during the trial.
”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 said Fierro didn’t tell him to stop, and that she didn’t seem to have a problem with the sex.
After a four-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than an hour before siding with Taylor. One juror said, while the jury “felt terrible” for Fierro, they believed the sex was consensual. They also believed she was victimized more by her pimp, Rasheed Davis, who beat her and forced her to Taylor’s hotel room.
“She may have shell-shocked, but none of us believed that Mr. Taylor should have been aware of what transpired,” the juror, a 43-year-old man from Westchester, said.
After the verdict was read, Taylor looked relieved and spoke about his future.
“This is a time for me to concentrate now on mending my own broken life,” Taylor said. ‘I’ve done a lot of things I need to address. I look forward to going home.”
Outside the courtroom, Taylor smoked a cigar — El Titan De Bronze Redemption.
The former New York Giants linebacker is serving six years’ probation on the misdemeanor charges.