The head of security for the Baltimore Ravens has been placed on paid leave after being charged with a sex offense stemming from allegations that he groped a woman at the Ravens' stadium on Dec. 14, according to court records and a team spokesman.
Darren Sanders, 48, was charged Tuesday with sexual contact without consent, a misdemeanor fourth-degree sex offense, according to Baltimore City District Court records. Police obtained a summons for Sanders, records show, and a Baltimore police spokesman confirmed he has not been arrested.
Sanders is due in court on Feb. 9.
According to a police report of the incident, the alleged victim is 34-year-old female security employee at M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens play. On Dec. 14, shortly after a Ravens game, the woman said she was asked to escort Sanders to his car, which was parked outside the stadium.
Sanders allegedly made comments about how he'd "seen her face around a lot" and told the woman she "looked really pretty," the report says.
Then, she claimed, Sanders groped her and tried to force her to touch him. According to the police report, the woman told Sanders to get away from her, and he stopped.
In charging documents, police say the woman reported that Sanders had groped her buttocks more than once as they walked through a third-floor hallway. Sanders also allegedly pressed his body against hers and kissed her neck before attempting to force her to touch him.
She immediately returned to work after the incident, telling four coworkers what had happened. The document says at least one witness saw part of Sanders' interaction with the woman.
Security officers at the stadium called the police for her, the report says.
The Baltimore Sun first reported the news of the summons.
Sanders listed his address as the Ravens' stadium complex in Owings Mills, Md.
Sanders, a former Baltimore police detective, figured prominently in the domestic violence scandal that surrounded former Ravens player Ray Rice. Sanders said he’d asked for a copy of the surveillance video from a casino elevator in Atlantic City, N.J., that showed Rice assaulting his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer.
In a statement released by the league at the time, Sanders said Rice had told him that he had slapped Palmer, but denied punching her. The Ravens terminated Rice's contract in the aftermath of the debacle, and the NFL later rolled out new policies regarding domestic violence.
Regarding the charge against Sanders, Chad Steele, a Ravens spokesman, said the team was "aware of the situation and have been investigating thoroughly." Sanders was not at the team complex Wednesday, and would not be accompanying the team to Pittsburgh, where the Ravens are scheduled to play the Steelers on Saturday in an NFL playoff game, Sanders said.
According to league spokesman Greg Aiello, Sanders is on paid leave, in accordance with the league’s personal conduct policy.
In a statement, Sanders' attorney, Warren Alperstein, said Sanders "categorically denies" the allegations.
"He did nothing wrong," Alperstein said. "He is innocent and looks forward to his day in court."
A spokesman for the Baltimore City state attorney’s office declined to comment, saying the office doesn't comment on ongoing cases.
If convicted, Sanders could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
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