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Originally published Friday, October 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM

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Jury rejects woman's claims against Lawrence Taylor | NFL

Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor pledged to concentrate on his "broken life" after a jury rejected a woman's claims he assaulted her by failing to recognize her distress when he had sex with her in a hotel room when she was 16.

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NEW YORK — Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor celebrated with a cigar Friday and pledged to concentrate on his "broken life" after a jury rejected a woman's claims he assaulted her by failing to recognize her distress when he had sex with her in a hotel room when she was 16.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan deliberated for about an hour before siding with Taylor, who appeared relieved as he turned around and gave a thumbs-up to a friend on a court bench behind him. Outside court, Taylor signed a copy of the verdict sheet belonging to his lawyer, Arthur Aidala, and spoke about his future and his past.

Taylor, a linebacker who helped the New York Giants win Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991, said he wanted to go home to Pembroke Pines, Fla., and "concentrate on my own broken life and try to repair that."

Asked to elaborate, he said: "I've done a lot of things I need to address. I look forward to going home."

Outside the courthouse, Taylor, whose post-NFL life has been marred by missteps including drug and tax charges, smoked a cigar. When asked what kind, he said, "Redemption."

The verdict came after a four-day trial in which Taylor testified he had sex with a "very, very pretty" prostitute in 2010 but denied accusations he ignored obvious signs she was a teen runaway who had been beaten and forced to meet with him. He said she told him she was 19.

The meeting occurred in his room at a Holiday Inn near New York City, where he paid $300 to Cristina Fierro after the sexual encounter. Fierro said another man forced her to have sex with Taylor. She said she brought the lawsuit to hold Taylor, 53, accountable.

During the trial, Fierro wept as she described the sexual encounter, saying the hulking Taylor failed to stop having sex with her even after she told him it hurt and tried to push him away.

"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 testified Fierro "didn't seem to have a problem" and "didn't tell me to stop."

Notes

• League lawyers filed a motion in U.S. District Court in New Orleans requesting former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue be allowed to hear appeals on the Saints' bounties case Tuesday.

The action comes after the players' union and the four players suspended in the bounties' case filed a motion asking Tagliabue recuse himself from the case because of a conflict of interest and that a neutral arbitrator be appointed by the court.

In the motion, NFL lawyers quote defendant Jonathan Vilma's statement to ESPN saying Tagliabue would be "a good first step" as a "neutral arbitrator."

• Left tackle Michael Roos' 119-game consecutive-starts streak will come to an end as the Tennessee Titans have ruled him out for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Roos, a former Eastern Washington standout, sat out for the third straight day of practice Friday after having his appendix removed Monday.

"We're not going to play him. We're not going to take any risks or chances with that," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "He's feeling pretty good, but he probably needs a good week to rest and he'll be fine next week."

Aaron Hernandez, New England tight end, will miss Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams in London while he recovers from a sprained ankle.

• Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning became the newest franchisee for Papa John's pizza, signing a deal to own 21 stores in the Denver area.

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