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Lawrence Taylor -- Judge Sets Monster Bail

5/6/2010 4:10 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

With steel handcuffs clamped down on his wrists, NFL legend Lawrence Taylor just left a New York courtroom -- where a judge set his bail at a whopping $75,000.

Lawrence Taylor in court

Taylor was formally arraigned on charges of 3rd degree rape (sex with a minor) and patronizing a prostitute in the 3rd degree.  He's plead not guilty to the charges.

The prosecution first requested that the judge set bail at $100k, citing LT's lengthy criminal history. Taylor's attorney called the request "ludicrous."  Ultimately, the judge settled on $75k.

Minutes before the arraignment, cops held a news conference, where they confirmed several facts:

-- LT was "very cooperative" with police. 

-- Cops say LT had some alcohol inside his hotel room, but officials won't specify what kind or how much. LT didn't appear to be intoxicated when cops arrived to his room.

-- Officers also claim LT did not attack his accuser, her black eye was caused before she arrived to his hotel room.

-- LT has been charged with rape in the 3rd degree -- which is essentially statutory rape.
The charge is a Class E felony -- and if convicted, LT could face up to 4 years in prison.

-- Cops also state that LT has been charged with patronizing a prostitute in the 3rd degree -- and if convicted, LT could face up to one year in jail.
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Cops confirm that LT is accused of paying $300 for sex.

-- Officials "do not know" if the victim resisted having sex with LT -- it's important to recognize that LT has not been charged with forcible rape.

-- Cops say LT did not answer the door when they arrived -- so they let themselves in.  Cops say they did not have a search warrant, because they didn't need one.

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