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Teen recalls at trial sex with ex-NY Giant Taylor

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Teen recalls at trial sex with ex-NY Giant Taylor

NEW YORK (AP) A teenager who has accused former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 cried Tuesday as she described her encounter with the NFL Hall of Famer at the start of a civil trial.

Taylor pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct and patronizing an underage prostitute for having sex with her in 2010 and is serving six years of probation. He leaned forward in his chair to watch the 19-year-old testify in U.S. District Court.

The teen, Cristina Fierro, who has since married, told a Manhattan jury hearing her lawsuit that she didn't know who Taylor was when she found him naked on a bed in a hotel room in Montebello, just north of New York City. She says another man forced her to have sex with Taylor for $300. She said she brought the lawsuit to hold Taylor accountable.

The Brooklyn-born Fierro, who grew up in Pennsylvania and New York, began weeping as she graphically described her meeting with Taylor, who says he believed she was 19 at the time.

``He said I had nice curly hair like his wife,'' Fierro recalled.

She said he told her she was pretty as he massaged her after she turned her back to him.

Fierro said she went to a bathroom to call her uncle, who told her to dial 911. She said she did so and left the phone in her bag, ``waiting for shadows to come and banging on the door to come get me.'' But the police never showed up.

She said Taylor, who played in the NFL for 13 seasons and won two Super Bowls, got on top of her and she squirmed and tried to push him away but it ``felt like I wasn't making a difference because of how big he was compared to me.''

She said she told him it was her ``first time'' and he replied, ``Just relax.''

``It was really rough and painful,'' she testified, saying she felt suicidal several months later and began taking medication for depression, insomnia and anxiety.

Fierro testified that when the sex was over Taylor ``just pulled out money and said, `Here, can you turn the TV off on your way out?'''

When she returned to the car of the man who had ordered her to have sex with Taylor, she said, she called her uncle and told him in Spanish that calling 911 didn't work. The police were waiting when the car arrived back at the man's Bronx home. The man later was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Taylor's lawyer, Arthur Aidala, said in his opening statement that Taylor never used violence, never threatened Fierro and thought she was sent by a friend who offered ``female companionship.''

Aidala tried to mitigate the circumstances by noting that Taylor ``did have sex with a woman who was 16 years, 11 months and three weeks old.''

``I am not condoning what he did,'' Aidala said. ``It's a crime he's been punished for.''

He said the lawsuit, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, is ``a money grab'' because of Taylor's fame.

With cross-examination set to start Wednesday, Aidala asked the judge if he could tell the jury that a rape kit test showed the semen of two men including Taylor. The judge didn't immediately decide.

Taylor, who lives in Broward County, Fla., led the 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. He was expected to testify Wednesday.

The Associated Press doesn't normally publish the names of accusers in sexual-assault cases unless they agree to be named or identify themselves publicly, as Fierro has done.

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

Andre Burakovsky will be sidelined for the remainder of Washington's first-round series vs. Columbus, but he isn’t necessarily out for the remainder of the playoffs, Coach Barry Trotz said on Friday.

Burakovsky suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in the Capitals' Game 2 overtime loss and has not been on the ice since.

Trotz said the 23-year-old top-six winger needs “minor” surgery.

That procedure, however, will not preclude Burakovsky from returning to the Caps’ lineup in subsequent rounds, should Washington advance.

“That's why I said minor surgery,” Trotz added, asked if Burky might return at a later date.

This latest surgery is the second for Burakovsky this season. In late October, he had a procedure to repair a broken left thumb and missed the next 20 games.

Since his departure in Game 2, Jakub Vrana and Chandler Stephenson have taken turns replacing Burakovsky on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks remarked after Game 2 and following practice on Thursday that he was partly to blame for Bradley Beal's modest scoring output through two games in the team's playoff series against the Raptors. They weren't just throwaway lines, a coach trying to make his star player feel better for struggling in the playoffs.

No, Brooks truly meant what he said and followed up those comments with an apology face-to-face. Brooks met with Beal and John Wall in between Games 2 and 3 to see how they can get Beal going and reiterated that some of it all was on the coach.

"He apologized to me, which was weird because he's somebody who always holds me accountable for stuff," Beal said after Friday's shootaround. "I guess he figured I wasn't shooting the ball enough and he thought it was his fault. I don't know."

Beal, who is averaging 14.0 points in two games and scored only nine in Game 2, came away from the meeting with a good understanding of what he needs to do to get back on track. After apologizing, Brooks laid out a strategy in hopes that he, Wall and Beal can all be on the same page moving forward.

They need to get their All-Star shooting guard back to form on the offensive end.

"He just basically challenged me. He challenged me to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive end," Beal said.

What has made Beal's scoring troubles through two games particularly surprising is how well he played against the Raptors during the regular season. He averaged 28.8 points in four games against Toronto and all were without Wall.

Beal shot 50 percent against the Raptors both from the field and from three. So far this series he's shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from long range.

Asked whether there is anything he can draw from the regular season to apply to the playoffs, Beal said it's not as easy as it may seem.

"Those games are different. The matchups are different to an extent. It's totally different in the playoffs because you have more time to prep and prepare and gameplan for us," he said. 

"I think the biggest thing is them being physical. They are real physical with me. Whenever I'm standing around on offense or moving around, they are grabbing me. I just need to be physical back with them. Keep moving off the ball and especially if Kyle [Lowry] is guarding me. Tire him out as much as possible. Continue to be aggressive."

Coaches use all sorts of leadership tactics to motivate players. Perhaps an apology will do the trick.

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