Lawrence Taylor is now officially a registered sex offender, and although he’s being a man and accepting responsibility for his crime, he wants the world to realize that he wasn’t looking for an underage prostitute.

No, he was just looking for a prostitute.

“I didn’t go pick her up on no playground,” Taylor told Fox News. “She wasn’t hiding behind the school bus or getting off a school bus. This is a working girl that came to my room.”

That is an important distinction. In the interview, Smith insists — as he has all along — that he asked the girl her age. She told him she was 19.

She was 16.

That, I suppose, is the risk one takes when soliciting a prostitute. It obviously wasn’t Taylor’s intention to take advantage of a kid, but he made a massive mistake and displayed a horrible lack of judgment. Yes, prostitution is legal in some parts of the world and accepted in a look-the-other-way capacity in others, but there are better, safer, cleaner ways to go about paying for sex.

“I don’t card ‘em,” Taylor said, ” I don’t ask for a birth certificate.” But had he used an escort service, that wouldn’t have been necessary, and it likely would have been a victimless crime.

It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to condemn Taylor for showing some sort of weakness by cheating on his wife with a prostitute. It is entirely appropriate for us to think he’s an utter moron for the way in which he went about doing so.