Sharper, 38, appeared briefly in Los Angeles Superior Court on
Friday in connection with the alleged incidents, which prosecutors
said occurred in October and January, but he did not enter a plea.
His arraignment was postponed until February 20, and a judge allowed
Sharper to remain free on $200,000 bail.
Representing Sharper was Blair Berk, a high-profile celebrity
defense lawyer whose past clients include Kiefer Sutherland, Mel
Gibson and Queen Latifah. She said after the hearing that her client
"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," she told reporters outside the court.
Sharper spent most of his 14-year National Football League career
with the Green Bay Packers, but also played for the Minnesota
Vikings and New Orleans Saints, helping the Saints win a Super Bowl
title in 2010.
He retired the following year, after leading the league twice in
interceptions and three times in defensive touchdowns. He was
selected five times for the Pro Bowl and twice as a First-Team
Sharper, who went on to become an on-air NFL Network commentator, 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
According to the prosecutors' account in court documents, Sharper
met two women at a West Hollywood night club on two separate
occasions and brought them back to a Los Angeles hotel room, where
the alleged drugging and assaults took place.
On the first occasion, October 30, prosecutors said Sharper served
the women a drink they believed was coffee-flavored tequila but
which contained the prescription sleep medication zolpidem, known by
the brand name Ambien.
The court documents say both women passed out, then one awoke later
to find the other woman being raped, and that she interrupted the
assault and they both fled. Prosecutors say a similar scenario
unfolded with two different women on January 15 at the same hotel,
but the alleged rape victim in that case said she did not realize it
until after she woke up on her own.
[to top of second column]
INVESTIGATIONS IN OTHER STATES
Los Angeles police detectives arrested Sharper on January 17, and he
was released on bond. Prosecutors filed formal charges against
Sharper on Friday.
Prosecutors, in court papers, asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge
Roberto Longoria to increase Sharper's bail to $10 million, saying
the Miami resident was a suspect in sexual assaults in Arizona,
Nevada and Louisiana in cases dating back to September.
Longoria kept Sharper's bail set at $200,000 but imposed conditions
requiring the former athlete to stay in the Los Angeles area and not
visit the West Hollywood nightclub where prosecutors say he met the
women he is accused of raping.
Police in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe said they were investigating
allegations Sharper drugged and sexually assaulted two women after
they passed out November 21 at an apartment he was visiting. No
charges have been filed in that case, said Tempe police spokesman
Sergeant Mike Pooley.
Likewise, no charges have been filed in separate cases that Los
Angeles prosecutors said were under police investigation in New
Orleans and Las Vegas.
The NFL Network suspended Sharper without pay after his arrest in
Prosecutors said the drug possession charge against Sharper stemmed
from his having morphine at the time of his arrest in January.
(Additional reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix;
editing by Steve
Gorman and Gunna Dickson)
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