33 59 LINKEDIN 2 COMMENTMORE

LOS ANGELES, March 24 Former NFL star and accused rapist Darren Sharper will remain in custody in California without bail due to the seriousness of the charges against him, a Los Angeles judge ruled Monday.

Sharper's attorneys requested at the hearing that he be held under house arrest if Arizona is not going to extradite him to face separate rape charges there.

But Superior Court Judge Renee Korn rejected the request. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said Arizona is in the process of seeking a governor's warrant for his extradition.

"I think the charges pending out of the state of Arizona are sufficiently serious that the court... is going to set bail at no bail," Korn said.

Sharper, 38, has been in jail for nearly a month after surrendering to authorities in Los Angeles on Feb. 27. He turned himself in that day because authorities in New Orleans issued a warrant for his arrest – a warrant that accused him of raping two women there last September. His attorneys argued in Los Angeles that he could not be held in jail indefinitely, especially after he already posted the required $1 million in bail on Feb. 20.

BACKGROUND: Sharper previously was women's advocate

ARIZONA: Grand jury indictment against Sharper

But his case soon was complicated by allegations in multiple states, all accusing him of raping women after they were intoxicated or drugged. From September through mid-January, police suspect he raped nine women in five states and drugged at least 11 people – two alleged rapes in Los Angeles, two in Arizona, two in Las Vegas, two in New Orleans and one in Miami Beach.

Attorney Gloria Allred represents one of the alleged victims in the Los Angeles case and said her client is willing to testify. The situation has been "very difficult" for her client, Allred said after Monday's hearing.

Sharper's next court date is April 15. If Arizona chooses not to extradite him, Korn indicated Sharper could be released on bail. But Los Angeles prosecutors said that Arizona is working on getting a governor's warrant for Sharper's extradition, a process that could take a month or two.

Arizona authorities said they would wait their turn to prosecute him after the California case is decided.

"In the meantime, we are preparing to have a warrant issued from our jurisdiction in order to ensure he remains in custody until we have the opportunity to have him returned to face charges in Arizona," said Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the district attorney's office in Maricopa County.

Sharper was initially arrested on Jan. 17 in Los Angeles, where police booked him with raping two women on separate occasions. Prosecutors there accused him of knocking them out with drinks laced with Ambien, a brand-name version of the sedative zolpidem, which is used to treat insomnia.

He was released at the time on $200,000 in bail, an amount that Korn later increased to $1 million after prosecutors in Los Angeles disclosed that Sharper is under investigation for the other alleged crimes in other cities.

On March 7, Korn indicated she was going to release Sharper on bail again if New Orleans authorities failed to bring formal charges by March 13. Louisiana did not, but Arizona did. On March 11, a grand jury in Maricopa County, Ariz., handed down an indictment against Sharper for allegedly drugging and raping two other women there in November. It was a non-bondable indictment, giving Korn a reason to keep Sharper locked up.

So far only California and Arizona have filed formal charges against him while investigations continue in other cities, including New Orleans.

Sharper's Arizona attorney, Skip Donau, said Sharper denies all the accusations, and Sharper has pleaded not guilty.

"By law, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office will proceed with its case first and Arizona will then have the opportunity to bring the defendant to answer to the charges alleged in the indictment (in Arizona)," Los Angeles prosecutors said in court documents filed Monday.

Follow Brent Schrotenboer on Twitter @Schrotenboer. E-mail: bschrotenb@usatoday.com

33 59 LINKEDIN 2 COMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1nV5RVS