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Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper stays in L.A. jail pending May hearing

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeJustice SystemSexual AssaultLaw EnforcementShootingsDarren Sharper

Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper will remain in a Los Angeles jail pending another court hearing next month, the latest development in the ongoing sexual assault investigations against the former safety that stretch across five states.

Friday marked the 38-year-old's third appearance in a Los Angeles courtroom this week. Superior Court Judge Renee Korn delayed the others pending an Arizona judge's decision on whether Sharper was eligible for bail on the charges he faces there.

After a two-day hearing in Phoenix, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville ruled Thursday that Sharper was not entitled to bail on one of the five counts. As a result, he will remain in custody in Los Angeles pending his next court appearance, scheduled for May 16. 

Sharper's attorneys have said they have began evaluating an appeal of the no-bail decision.

In all, the Super Bowl-winning safety is accused of drugging and assaulting eight women in four cities: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Tempe, Ariz. Police in Miami Beach, Fla. also are investigating an alleged sexual battery there.

Sharper has been charged only in the California and Arizona cases. Prosecutors in both states said they plan to let the Los Angeles matter be decided before Sharper is sent to Arizona.

"Our next move, as far as we're concerned -- unless something comes up -- is to seek to return him here to face charges once California is finished with him," Maricopa County district attorney's spokesman Jerry Cobb said Thursday.

Los Angeles prosecutors were the first to file charges in January, alleging Sharper drugged and attacked two women he met at a West Hollywood club in two separate incidents. He initially posted bail and was released but was taken into custody again in late February after New Orleans police issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with their case.

While Sharper was being held on the Louisiana warrant, an Arizona grand jury indicted him on two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering dangerous drugs.

At the hearing in Phoenix, a Tempe police detective testified Sharper’s DNA was recovered from the clothing of one of two alleged victims there, according to media reports. Det. Kevin Mace said a partial DNA match for Sharper was found on the same woman’s genitals.

Sharper's attorneys took issue with the testimony, calling an expert witness who said that there was no evidence of Sharper's sperm and that the DNA could have come from saliva or skin, USA Today reported. Prosecutors then brought Mace back to the stand, where he testified that investigators had learned Sharper had a vasectomy -- thus no sperm would have been present.

One of Sharper's attorneys, Skip Donau, said the testimony should be given "no weight" because "it hasn't been confirmed in any fashion," according to the USA Today report. Mace said he learned of the procedure from Los Angeles police and one of the other alleged victims, who had a prior relationship with Sharper.

Mace also testified police had searched the apartment where the attacks allegedly occurred and found a shot glass with a white residue. That residue was determined to be zolpidem, an Ambien generic for which Sharper had a prescription.

L.A. prosecutors allege Sharper used zolpidem in the California attacks.

Court documents filed in Los Angeles outline allegations against Sharper similar to those from the alleged victims in other states. Women reported meeting the five-time Pro Bowl player, usually at a nightclub, then going back to his hotel room or an apartment.

Sharper allegedly then offered the women -- who were often in pairs or groups of three -- shots of alcohol.

After drinking the shots, the women said, they immediately blacked out. Many said they woke up with little or no memory of what had happened but believed they had been sexually assaulted.

Sharper played for the Green Bay PackersMinnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. After the allegations surfaced, he was fired from his job with the NFL Network.

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kate.mather@latimes.com

Twitter: @katemather | Google+

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