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Former NFL Star Lawrence Taylor Indicted on Rape Charges

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By Kamika Dunlap on June 25, 2010 2:22 PM

A New York grand jury indicted Pro football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor on rape charges, steming from an encounter with a a teenage girl.

Former NFL star and Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor  was indicted on six charges including rape, endangering the welfare of a child and patronizing a prostitute, the Associated Press reports.

According to prosecutors he allegedly paid a 16-year-old girl $300 to have sex with him.

In general, statutory rape refers to sexual relations involving someone below the "age of consent." People below the age of consent cannot legally consent to having sex. This means that sex with them, by definition, violates the law.

Statutory rape laws vary by state, with states setting the age of consent differently, as well as using different names to refer to this crime. Many states punish statutory rape under laws addressing sexual assault, rape, unlawful sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge of a child. There are very few federal laws dealing with statutory rape.

Unlike "forcible rape," statutory rape can involve underage participants who willingly engage in sexual relations. However, because those under the age of consent cannot give legal consent to sex, the act is a crime whether or not force is involved.

The age of consent varies from state to state. Some states set the age of consent at 17 or 18.

In this case, the 16-year-old girl told authorities that she had been physically assaulted by a pimp who drove her to the hotel where 51-year-old Taylor was waiting.

Lawrence Taylor is scheduled to appear in court on July 13.