A judge again denied bail today for ex-NFL safety Darren Sharper, who is facing sexual assault charges in both Los Angeles and Arizona.
Sharper, charged with drugging and raping two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub, had been free on $1 million bail earlier this year. But he surrendered to police on Feb. 27 in connection with a warrant issued by authorities in New Orleans and has been held without bail since.
When New Orleans prosecutors failed to file charges in connection with rape allegations, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn warned prosecutors that she couldn't hold Sharper in jail "in perpetuity."
Sharper was subsequently indicted March 11 on sexual assault and drug charges in Arizona. Last week Korn ordered the ex-NFL player to remain in custody without bail, saying that a no-bail order is typical for defendants awaiting extradition.
At today's bail hearing, Sharper's attorneys, Leonard Levine and Blair Berk, said they had reached an agreement with the Arizona prosecutor regarding bail and argued that Sharper should be released so that he could voluntarily surrender to Phoenix authorities. Arizona prosecutors would not be seeking extradition, Levine told the judge.
But the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office provided emails as evidence that Arizona prosecutors were "working diligently" to extradite Sharper and that no bail agreement had been reached.
"There is absolutely no evidence that Arizona has ever agreed to set a bail amount or to allow the defendant to voluntarily surrender," the motion filed by the Los Angeles County D.A.'s Office states.
An email from the Arizona prosecutor to Sharper's Arizona defense attorney read, "To be clear, I am not going to agree (to) any bail. My interests are in keeping him (in) custody as he would be if he were in Arizona. It doesn't matter to me if he is in custody in California, Arizona, or Louisiana for that matter."
The indictment returned by a Maricopa County, Ariz., grand jury alleges that Sharper "intentionally or knowingly engaged in sexual intercourse of oral sexual contact ... without the consent" of two alleged victims and that he "knowingly administered zolpidem," a sleep medication, to three alleged victims last Nov. 21 in Tempe, Ariz.
In Los Angeles, Sharper is charged with two counts of rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance. The charges involve two women he met at a West Hollywood club last Oct. 30 and two other women he encountered at the same club on Jan. 14, and also allege that the controlled substance used was zolpidem, the same medication named in the Arizona indictment.
After the Los Angeles case was filed Feb. 14, Berk said, "We look forward to the true facts being revealed in this case and we are hopeful that Mr. Sharper will be fully exonerated before this case is concluded."
Los Angeles County prosecutors had previously noted that investigations regarding Sharper were also being conducted in Las Vegas and Miami Beach.
A member of the league's 2000s All-Decade Team and a five-time Pro Bowl selection, Sharper was suspended from his job as an analyst with the NFL Network following his initial arrest.
Sharper played for the Green Bay Packers in 1997-2004, the Minnesota Vikings in 2005-2008 and the New Orleans Saints in 2009-2010. He was on the Saints team that won Super Bowl XLIV in February 2010.
--City News Service