LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former professional football star Darren Sharper, who is accused of drugging and raping two women in California, must remain in jail in Los Angeles pending a possible extradition request from Arizona over sexual assault charges in that state, a judge ruled on Monday.
Sharper, who helped the New Orleans Saints win a 2010 Super Bowl title, faces California charges of drugging four women and raping two of them and is being held without bail in a Los Angeles jail. He also was indicted this month by a grand jury in Arizona on rape and drugging charges involving two more women.
California prosecutors have said in court documents that Louisiana and Nevada were investigating Sharper on sex crime allegations, and police in Miami Beach, Florida, said they too were investigating him. He has not been charged in those states.
“The charges pending out of Arizona are sufficiently serious the court is going to set … no bail,” said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn.
Prosecutors in Arizona said last week they would not immediately seek to extradite Sharper to their state, to allow California prosecutors who were the first to charge Sharper to move forward with their case against him.
But Los Angeles prosecutors said on Monday in court papers that a formal extradition request was expected to be submitted to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Wednesday, and would be processed by her office.
Sharper’s attorney, Blair Berk, expressed frustration over mixed signals on whether Arizona would seek to extradite her client, who has been in jail in Los Angeles since Feb. 27, when he was taken into custody on a police warrant from Louisiana.
“We believe we are facing an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ situation here; Yes is no and no is yes,” she said in court.
Los Angeles prosecutors have said they would ask to keep Sharper in their jurisdiction to proceed first with their case, even if another state formally seeks his extradition.
In the California case, prosecutors say Sharper met two women at a night club in October and took them to a Los Angeles hotel room, where he served them drug-spiked drinks and allegedly raped one. He is accused of doing the same with two other women in Los Angeles in January.
The 38-year-old former defensive back and former analyst for the NFL Network has pleaded not guilty to the California charges. During the hearing on Monday, he sat behind a glass partition in an orange jump suit and only spoke once when asked about setting a date for his next hearing.
He is due back in court on April 15 for a hearing on the pending extradition request from Arizona.
(Reporting by Dana Feldman, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Ken Wills)