During an interview Tuesday after he was sentenced to six years' probation, Lawrence Taylor made no apologies for visiting a prostitute, and said he did not know she was underage.
Taylor, 52, avoided jail time by pleading guilty in January to sexual misconduct and patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute stemming from an incident in May 2010. Both counts are misdemeanors.
Speaking on Fox News' "Studio B with Shepard Smith," Taylor said he had asked the prostitute her age, and was told she was 19.
"That's not my M.O. I've been around kids and people all my life," said Taylor, a former New York Giants linebacker and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I'm not the cause of prostitution. And sometimes I make mistakes and I may go out there. And I didn't go pick her up on no playground. She wasn't hiding behind the school bus or getting off a school bus. This is a working girl that came to my room."
Taylor blamed the institution of prostitution for the fact that he ended up with an underage girl.
"It's the world of prostitution," he said during the Fox News interview. "You never know what you're gonna get. Is it gonna be a pretty girl, an ugly girl or whatever it's gonna be."
Or a young girl? Smith asked.
"You can only ask," Taylor said. "I don't card them. I don't ask for a birth certificate."
Taylor said he had "no beef" with the girl.
"I'll take my punishment like I should, but my problem is at home with my wife, so that's really the only one I have to answer to," he said in the interview.
How did he get in the situation in the first place? Smith asked.
"It happens sometimes," Taylor said. "I'd been on the road 10 or 11 days and I came in to town. Actually, I made a phone call to a friend of mine, and he made a phone call."
Taylor said he has used the services of prostitutes in the past, especially between 1994 and 2001, when he was not married.
"I'm not looking for a relationship. Hey, sometimes I look for some company," Taylor said. "It's all clean. I don't have to worry about your feelings. It's all clean. I'm not saying it's right. It's the oldest profession in the world."
But right or wrong, Taylor appears to not consider prostitution a serious crime.
"I guess you call it a crime," he said during the interview. "It's one of those crimes you don't think about. You never think you're gonna get busted because everyone does it until you get busted, and then it's more embarrassing than anything else."