PHOENIX (AP) — Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper’s DNA was found in an examination of one of two women who accuse him of drugging and sexually assaulting them at a Tempe apartment, a detective said Wednesday.
Tempe police Detective Kevin Mace said at a bail hearing in Phoenix that Sharper’s DNA was recovered from one of the women’s clothing, but none of his DNA was found during an exam of the other woman.
The detective’s testimony came at a hearing in which Sharper’s lawyers are challenging the evidence used to keep him in jail without bail. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville hasn’t yet ruled on the issue and will continue the hearing Thursday afternoon.
The hearing marks the latest development in several ongoing sexual assault investigations involving Sharper in Louisiana, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada.
Bail in Sharper’s California rape case was set at $1 million, but he was indicted in Arizona last month on charges of sexual assault and administering dangerous drugs and was denied bail. Authorities in California have kept him jailed, and he didn’t attend Wednesday’s hearing.
The indictment alleges Sharper gave the sedative zolpidem to three women and then had "sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact" with two of them without their consent on Nov. 21 after a night of drinking at the apartment and at bars in nearby Scottsdale. One of the women told police she hadn’t had any alcohol that night until Sharper insisted she drink a shot. Another young woman said she had been drugged, then went to bed, locked her door and wasn’t attacked.
Sharper has not yet entered a plea in the Arizona case, although one of his attorneys said Sharper will deny those allegations. He has pleaded not guilty in the California case.
Earlier this month, Granville denied a request from Sharper’s attorneys to set bail, ruling that he didn’t have jurisdiction until the former player was in Arizona. But Sharper’s attorneys said the former player is entitled to a hearing to determine whether Arizona prosecutors have enough evidence on the sexual assault charges to deny him bail.
The Arizona Constitution automatically denies bail to people charged with sexual assault if the proof against them is evident or the presumption of guilt is great.
Mace said two of the three women confronted Sharper the day after the attack.
"He denied the allegations," the detective said. "He acted like he didn’t remember."
A police search of the apartment turned up a shot glass with a white residue that turned out to be zolpidem, and California investigators have discovered Sharper had a prescription for that drug, Mace said.
Under questioning from Sharper’s attorney Skip Donau, Mace said the former player had a prior consensual sexual relationship with one of the women, who had invited him to stay at the apartment.
Mace said the woman in question, who was intoxicated on the night of the attack, had no indication on how her clothes got removed after her friends dressed her in shorts and put her to bed. None of Sharper’s DNA was found on her, Mace said.
After Sharper was confronted the next day at the apartment, the woman was supposed to drop off Sharper in Scottsdale but then joined him for brunch with friends, Mace said.
An analysis of that woman’s blood and urine came back negative for the sedative, though she had amphetamine and the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana in her system, Mace said.