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Published November 22, 2015
Former football star Lawrence Taylor claims he did not know the prostitute he had sex with was underage in an exclusive interview to Fox News Tuesday.
"I didn't pick her up on no playground," the former New York Giant great told Fox News' Shepard Smith.
Taylor was sentenced Tuesday to six years of probation for having sex with an underage prostitute.
The Hall of Fame ex-linebacker pleaded guilty in January to sexual misconduct and having sex with the teen.
The girl, now 17, appeared in court with well-known attorney Gloria Allred and said afterward that Taylor should have gone to jail. The girl has been identified in court and by Allred only by her initials, C.F.
Taylor told Fox News he did not know how old she was.
"This was a working girl who came into my room. She told me she was 19. It is what it is," Taylor said.
"I don't card them. I don't ask them for a birth certificate," he added.
The teen denied she is a prostitute and said another man forced her to go to Taylor's hotel room in May 2010. She believes Taylor could tell that she had been beaten and that she was underage. She said Taylor took "something precious" from her and should be behind bars.
Allred said the girl had wanted to read a victim-impact statement in court. The judge, however, said victims are entitled to speak only at felony sentencings. Taylor had pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.
Taylor was arrested May 6 at a Holiday Inn in Montebello, N.Y., after the girl's uncle contacted New York City police. The ex-athlete was charged with third-degree rape because she was underage.
When he pleaded guilty to the lesser charges, Taylor admitted to having intercourse with the girl, who turned out to be a Bronx runaway. He said she told him she was 19, but he added that he now knows the girl was 16 and legally incapable of consent. He said he paid her $300.
Taylor told Shepard Smith how the incident went down.
"I made a phone call to a friend and he made a phone call," Taylor told Fox News. "It's the world of prostitution. You never know what you're going to get."
Taylor led the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.
In 2009, he competed in ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." He had also been a spokesman for the weight-loss company NutriSystem, but he was dropped after his arrest.
Taylor also will have to abide by the conditions of a sex offender. But the judge postponed until April 12 a hearing to determine what level of sex offender will be assigned to him.
All sex offenders have to report their address annually and report any changes in 10 days.
In Level 1 and 2, offenders have to get their picture taken every three years; in Level 3, it's every year. Level 3 offenders also have to report the name and address of their employer and advise of any change.
John Caher, spokesman for the state Criminal Justice Services Division, said that although Level 1 offenders aren't posted on a public website, anyone who calls the division can find out if a person is a sex offender.
Allred would not say whether her client plans to sue Taylor.
Taylor says he's sorry for how this incident turned out.
"I'm not saying it's right," Taylor said. "I have used the services before. It's one of those crimes you never think you're going to get busted."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.