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Arizona not seeking ex-NFL player's extradition in rape case, for now

Source: Reuters - Wed, 19 Mar 2014 22:38 GMT
Author: Reuters
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By David Schwartz

PHOENIX, March 19 (Reuters) - Arizona will not seek to extradite former standout professional football player Darren Sharper from California to face rape and drugging charges involving two women as a similar case against him in Los Angeles proceeds, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

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.

"Los Angeles prosecutors are going forward with their case, and when they are done we will pursue our case," Maricopa County Attorney's Office spokesman Jerry Cobb said. "They filed their case first and it just makes sense for them to continue to proceed."

Sharper, who played 14 years in the National Football League, faces accusations in a number of states that he drugged women and raped them.

He has been formally charged in California and Arizona. California prosecutors have said in court documents that Louisiana and Nevada are investigating him on sex crime allegations, and police in Miami Beach, Florida said they too were investigating him.

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 California in January.

In Arizona, he is accused of raping two women after drugging their drinks at a Tempe apartment in November. A grand jury in Maricopa County indicted him this month on two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering dangerous drugs in connection with the allegations.

The 38-year-old former defensive back, who was a broadcaster for the NFL network when the claims surfaced, was denied bail last week by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge based on the charges filed in the Arizona case.

Attorney Skip Donau, representing Sharper in the Arizona case, could not immediately be reached for comment. He has denied the allegations on behalf of his client. Sharper has also pleaded not guilty to the Los Angeles charges, and his attorneys have said that prosecutors in Louisiana do not have enough evidence against him.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)

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