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"She told me she was 19," said NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, admitting to having sex with a 16-year-old prostitute. In May the former New York Giants linebacker was arrested at a suburban hotel after the minor's uncle contacted New York City Police. On Thursday, Taylor plead guilty to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute, two misdemeanor offenses that will allow him to avoid jail time while having to register as a sex offender. In his prime, Taylor brought the Giants two Super Bowl titles but will now serve six years in probation. Did the former NFL star get off easy?

  • A Big Victory for Taylor, says ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack: "When he was first arrested he was facing jail time without any question ... The fact that now he's able to plead to misdemeanors and not go to prison is a win and I think this is probably the end of it." Under New York law, not knowing a person's age is not a defense against statutory rape so Taylor knew he needed to make a deal, reasons Cossack. Taylor admitted to paying $300 for the sex.
  • It's Still Not Ideal, writes Chris Chase at Yahoo Sports: "It's a victory for the former linebacker, although a hollow one if he truly believed in his innocence. After years of battling drug and alcohol abuse, Taylor had been rehabilitating his public image prior to the arrest. He competed on 'Dancing With the Stars' in 2009 and was a spokesman for NutriSystem. The diet company dropped him after his latest brush with the law."
  • Prosecutors Initially Wanted a Felony, writes Jim Fitzgerald at The Associated Press: "He previously had pleaded not guilty to third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child. He had been resisting a plea deal for months. Prosecutors said in December he had been offered a six-month jail term and 10 years’ probation in exchange for pleading guilty to a felony."
  • His Defense Seems Implausible, writes Darlena Bonds at All Voices: "Ignorance of age isn't a defense. How intelligent was this child for him not to know she was young? Or was he that naive that he can't tell a child from an adult?"
  • I Wouldn't Jump to Conclusions, writes William Charles Baker at Digital Journal: " The great New York Giants line backer that garnered more attention because of his play and skill at the game of football has fallen on hard times and it is difficult not to be sympathetic. Who knows what is allowed or not allowed for certain players? All we have is the media and my trust in their reporting of anything but scores is limited."

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