Judge: Sharper can't be held indefinitely in jail

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Associated Press

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 6:00 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge says former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper cannot be held without bail indefinitely in a sex assault case in Los Angeles but gave Louisiana prosecutors more time to indict him before allowing his release in California.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn issued the ruling Friday after hearing arguments from Sharper's attorneys that the athlete should be released on bail.

Sharper has not been charged in New Orleans but faces charges in Los Angeles of drugging and raping two women.

Korn gave prosecutors until March 13 to present an indictment from New Orleans.

Sharper has pleaded not guilty in the California case and was free on $1 million bail until an arrest warrant was issued in New Orleans,

The warrant states that police detectives in New Orleans learned from witnesses that Sharper and an associate acknowledged having nonconsensual sex with two women.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Police detectives in New Orleans learned from witnesses that former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper and an associate acknowledged having nonconsensual sex with two women, an arrest warrant states.

It was the latest disclosure in several ongoing sexual assault investigations involving the 38-year-old Sharper in Louisiana, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada.

In a bail motion filed last month, Los Angeles County Investigator John Maccharella described a pattern in which the former football star met women at clubs or parties and lured them to a hotel room, where they were allegedly drugged and raped.

The New Orleans warrant was released Thursday as Sharper prepared to return to court Friday in Los Angeles, where he has pleaded not guilty to rape and drug charges. His attorneys were set to argue for his release from jail.

Louisiana prosecutors have not formally charged Sharper, who had been free on $1 million bail in California before turning himself in when the arrest warrant was issued last week in Louisiana.

His lawyers contend he should be released again on the bail he has already posted.

The New Orleans arrest warrant does not elaborate on how the information was obtained or disclose the names of the witnesses.

"Through further investigation by the detective's it was learned that Nunez and Sharper admitted to other known witnesses that he and Sharper had vaginal and/or oral sex with victim's #1 and #2 without their knowledge or permission," the warrant states.

Sharper's attorney Nandi Campbell said her client never made any such statements. "It just never happened," she said.

Leonard Levine, a lawyer for Sharper in Los Angeles, has said Sharper will be cleared in the cases.

"All of these were consensual contact between Mr. Sharper and women who wanted to be in his company," Levine said after a court hearing last month.

Nunez, a waiter, has been arrested in New Orleans, where a judge on Friday set his bail at $400,000. His lawyer Herbert Larson said there is no evidence against Nunez.

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 last week.

Court documents in Los Angeles state that Sharper has submitted DNA samples to New Orleans police and agreed to turn himself in there if he is charged. Nunez also submitted DNA in the case, Larson said, adding that his client is not a flight risk.

Sharper had been released on bail in Los Angeles on the condition that he remain in the city, stay away from nightclubs and not be alone with any woman he did not know before October, when the first allegations emerged.

His attorneys contend he did not violate any of those terms before turning himself in after the Louisiana warrant was issued.

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Associated Press Writer Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this report. Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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