NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - Dr. Marvell Scott, a former WABC-TV sportscaster, has admitted to child endangerment in an encounter with a 14-year-old prostitute.
Scott pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. He admitted inappropriately touching the girl, saying he only later learned her age. His case will be closed without jail time or probation if he does 20 days of community service.
Scott, 38, initially also faced rape and prostitution charges after his June 2008 encounter with the girl, whom prosecutors had said was a runaway who was working as a prostitute. Scott's lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and John D. Pappalardo, emphasized that he admitted to nothing but the child endangerment count.
"Mr. Scott has maintained from the very start of this case that he did not commit the serious crime he was originally charged with,'' they said in a statement.
The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment on Scott's plea deal.
According to a report in the Daily News, when asked about the incident in Feb. 2010, Scott said, "The whole thing was a hoax. They're pursuing a case that has no proven evidence for it and they're relying on the testimonies of criminals and liars."
Scott went to medical school while working as a sports reporter for WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio; played for a time for the Dayton Skyhawks, a professional indoor football team; and then worked as a weekend sportscaster for New York's WABC-TV for seven years before leaving in the summer of 2009 to pursue his sports-medicine career. He was indicted in the case involving the teen in February 2010.
His lawyers said they didn't expect Scott's plea to affect his medical license. Representatives for the state medical licensing agency didn't immediately return a call.
When Scott was indicted, prosecutors said he had met a man and two girls, then 14 and 16, near Times Square after the girls ran away from school. Prosecutors said Scott paid the man, took the girls to the apartment and had sex with the younger one.
She later returned to her upstate New York home, prosecutors said.
Do you think Scott should go to jail, or is community service enough? Sound Off below
for more features.