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Darren Sharper loses Arizona bid to be released on bail

PHOENIX (AP) _ Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper lost his bid Thursday
to be released on bail in a sexual assault case after an Arizona judge found
there’s enough evidence to move forward with charges against him in that state.

Sharper’s lawyers had questioned the evidence authorities are using to justify
keeping him in jail in California, where he faces separate charges that he
drugged and raped two women in October after meeting them at a West Hollywood

A California judge had set Sharper’s bail at $1 million but ruled in March that
Sharper should remain in jail without bail after the Super Bowl champion was
indicted in Arizona on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted two women
in November.

His lawyers had hoped to win a favorable ruling from the Arizona judge to
persuade the California judge to set him free on bail.

But after two days of arguments in Phoenix, Maricopa County Superior Court
Judge Warren Granville found there is sufficient evidence to pursue the Arizona
case against Sharper. The Arizona Constitution automatically denies bail to
people charged with sexual assault if the proof against them is evident or the
presumption of guilt is great.

The move was the latest development in several ongoing sexual assault
investigations involving Sharper in Louisiana, California, Florida, Arizona and

The indictment filed last month in Arizona alleges that Sharper gave the
sedative zolpidem to three women and then had “sexual intercourse or oral
sexual contact” with two of them without their consent on Nov. 21 at an
apartment in Tempe. The drug is commonly sold under the brand name Ambien.

Sharper has not yet entered a plea in the case, although one of his attorneys
has said Sharper will deny those allegations. He has pleaded not guilty in the
California case.

Earlier this month, Granville denied a request from Sharper’s attorneys to set
bail, ruling that he didn’t have jurisdiction until the former player was in
Arizona. But Sharper’s attorneys argued that the former player was entitled to a
hearing to determine whether Arizona prosecutors have enough evidence to deny
him bail.

On Wednesday, Tempe police detective Kevin Mace said Sharper’s DNA was
recovered from the clothing of one of the two sexual assault victims in Arizona,
but none of his DNA was found during an exam of the other woman.

The detective also said a police search of the apartment turned up a shot glass
with a white residue that turned out to be zolpidem, and California
investigators discovered that Sharper had a prescription for the drug.

On Thursday, Sharper’s attorneys said their client did not make the drinks that
authorities say he used to drug the women, and that neither woman suffered
physical injuries.

Prosecutors pointed out that sexual assault victims sometimes don’t suffer
physical injuries, and that both women were assaulted while unconscious after
being drugged.


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