Friday, March 14
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper will remain in a Los Angeles jail for the foreseeable future as he faces criminal charges in two states and sexual assault investigations in three others.
Superior Court Judge Renee Korn ruled Thursday that Sharper should remain in jail without bail after authorities this week indicted the Super Bowl champion on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted two women in Tempe, Ariz., in November.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles will have the first opportunity to place Sharper on trial on charges that he drugged and raped two women in October after meeting them at a West Hollywood nightclub.
Korn said in her decision that Arizona authorities want to extradite Sharper to face trial there after the proceedings in California.
In addition to the Arizona case, Sharper remains under investigation for similar sex crimes in Florida, Nevada and Louisiana.
He has pleaded not guilty in California, and his lawyers say he will vigorously deny the allegations he faces elsewhere.
Korn refused a request Thursday by Sharper's attorneys to release him on house arrest while his case in Los Angeles is pending. It will take months for his case to be resolved.
Both the California and Arizona cases allege Sharper, 38, used the drug zolpidem — which is sold under several brand names, including Ambien — on the women before abusing them. The Arizona case accuses the athlete of drugging three women and sexually assaulting two of them.
Sharper appeared in court Thursday in an orange jail jumpsuit, flanked by two of his lawyers. He was previously released on $1 million bail in the California case but turned himself in on Feb. 27 after an arrest warrant was issued in New Orleans. He has not been charged in that state.
In a bail motion filed last month, a Los Angeles County investigator described a pattern in which the former football star met women at clubs or parties and lured them to a hotel room, where authorities say they were drugged and raped.
The New Orleans warrant says police learned from witnesses that Sharper and an associate had acknowledged having nonconsensual sex with two women. Sharper's attorneys say he never made such statements.
The warrant does not elaborate on how the information was obtained or disclose the names of the witnesses.
Korn set another court appearance for Sharper for March 24.
Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Green Bay Packers as a rookie and was part of a successful championship run while with the New Orleans Saints.
He retired after the 2010 season and was working as an analyst for the NFL Network before being fired after the rape allegations surfaced.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP