Not-guilty plea from ex-NFLer Darren Sharper in alleged rapes of - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Not-guilty plea from ex-NFLer Darren Sharper in alleged rapes of 2 women

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By Michael Martinez and Paul Vercammen

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Former NFL star Darren Sharper pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles court Thursday in the alleged druggings and rapes of two women.

Judge Renee Korn raised Sharper's bail to $1 million from $200,000 in response to a prosecution request to raise it to as high as $10 million.

The judge also ordered Sharper not to frequent clubs, bars or any venue where alcohol is the primary item for sale.

Korn also ordered Sharper "not be alone with any women he does not have a previous relationship with (from) prior to October 30, 2013," the date of the first alleged rape in Los Angeles County.

Sharper has already surrendered his passport, the judge noted.

"Mr. Sharper must stay in Los Angeles County," the judge said.

Sharper, who had been free on bail, stood quietly in a gray pinstripe suit with a black shirt and no tie.

One of his defense attorneys, Leonard Levine, told the court that Sharper was pleading not guilty, as well as denying all special allegations, enhancements and "priors," an apparent reference to alleged prior offenses.

Levine indicated Sharper would post his residence and his father's residence as the $1 million bail.

The five-time Pro Bowl player, who became an NFL Network analyst, 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 controlled substance, all felonies, according to Los Angeles County prosecutors.

The alleged rapes occurred in October and last month, authorities said.

Sharper also is under investigation in Arizona, Louisiana and Nevada in connection with a total of five alleged rape cases in those states, according to Los Angeles authorities. Another of his attorneys, Blair Berk, has said she expects Sharper to "be fully exonerated."

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Stacy Okun-Wiese said in court that Sharper is also being investigated in sexual battery case in a fifth state, in Miami Beach, Florida.

But in court, Sharper's attorney disputed all the rape allegations.

"It was all consensual contact with women who wanted to be in his company," Levine said in court.

In unsuccessfully seeking a $10 million bail, the prosecutor argued that "Sharper is a danger to women."

"He hangs out with them in clubs. Takes them back. It's the same story," Okun-Wiese told the court. "He gives them a shot. They black out.

"The next day they have no idea of what happened the previous night," she said.

In the Los Angeles cases, Sharper is accused of using morphine and zolpidem -- another name for the prescription sleep aid Ambien -- on his two alleged victims, who said they blacked after Sharper served them a shot of alcohol, according to authorities.

Okun-Wiese said authorities took count of Sharper's Ambien pills.

"I counted it up and Mr. Sharper has gone through 70 pills in 65 days," the prosecutor said.

When Los Angeles County authorities filed the rape charges last month, they weren't aware of the Nevada and Arizona investigations, Okun-Wiese said.

"The circumstances have changed tremendously since the January 17 arrest" of Sharper in California, Okun-Wiese said.

Defense attorney Levine, however, said "there is no probable cause" against Sharper in those other states' cases.

In the latest accusation, a Florida woman last month filed a sexual battery complaint in Miami Beach against Sharper relating to a 2012 incident, a police report said.

The alleged victim filed the complaint shortly after an acquaintance told her last month that Sharper was arrested in California on rape charges, the Miami Beach police report says. The alleged Florida victim filed the report because "she felt she needed to clear her conscious," the report said.

According to the police report, in September or October 2012, the woman was with two friends at a Miami Beach club when she met Sharper, and when she, her friends, and another person went to Sharper's condo, the woman was "extremely intoxicated."

The woman's two friends later told her she went with Sharper into his bedroom, and the friends heard her telling Sharper, "No, no, stop. I don't want to," the report said.

The two friends knocked on the bedroom door, entered the room and tried to take the woman home, but because "she was so intoxicated, she can't remember what she said to (the two friends) because her speech was slurred and she wanted to sleep," the report said.

Everyone subsequently left Sharper's Miami Beach condo, except for Sharper and the woman, according to the report.

The woman awoke the following morning, the report said, with Sharper allegedly sexually assaulting her without a condom. The woman was treated by a doctor a week after the incident, the report said.

Miami Beach police are investigating the case, Miami Beach Detective Vivian Hernandez said Thursday.

 

The-CNN-Wire

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