LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper has been ordered held in jail without bail by a Los Angeles judge, who warned that she would have to free him soon if charges aren't filed against him in a similar case in Louisiana.
Friday's ruling was the latest development in several ongoing sexual assault investigations involving the 38-year-old Sharper in Louisiana, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada.
He has been charged by Los Angeles prosecutors with seven rape and drug counts in connection with two alleged attacks in Hollywood. He pleaded not guilty and had been freed on $1 million bail, but was taken into custody again when New Orleans police issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with two more alleged rapes.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn said it was unfair to hold Sharper "into perpetuity," and set a hearing for Thursday to give Louisiana prosecutors time to charge Sharper or for that state's governor to seek his return through another type of warrant.
In a bail motion filed last month, Los Angeles County Investigator John Maccharella described a pattern in which the former football star met women at clubs or parties and lured them to a hotel room, where they were allegedly drugged and raped.
The New Orleans warrant says police learned from witnesses that Sharper and associate Erik Nunez had acknowledged having nonconsensual sex with two women.
It does not elaborate on how the information was obtained or disclose the names of the witnesses.
Sharper's attorneys say he never made such statements and the arrest warrant was a pretext to hold him indefinitely without bail.
Prosecutors, however, said they were following the law.
Chris Bowman, a spokesman for New Orleans District Attorney Leon A. Cannizzaro Jr., said he could not comment on whether Sharper would be charged before the Thursday deadline set by Judge Korn.
"It's an open investigation," Bowman said. "I'm not going to comment on it. I'm not going to put a timetable on it."