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A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that there is sufficient evidence to hold a former NFL star without bond on a charge that he sexually assaulted a woman inside a Tempe apartment after a night of clubbing.
Judge Warren Granville's ruling likely blocks efforts by defense attorneys to free Darren Sharper, 38, from a Los Angeles jail where he is being held on an Arizona arrest warrant stemming from the Nov. Sharper also is accused of similar charges in Los Angeles. But after two days of hearings in Phoenix in which prosecutors laid out their case against Sharper, Granville also found that there was no "proof evident or presumption great'' — the standard of proof for bond hearings — that the defendant sexually assaulted a second victim.
The Arizona sexual-assault law makes it possible for a judge or commissioner to hold a defendant without bond if the high legal standard is met but also allows a defendant to challenge the lack of bond. The only purpose of the hearing was to determine if prosecutors could reach the high legal standard to hold Sharper without bond.
A complete trial, after the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office completes its prosecution of Sharper, would determine if Sharper is guilty or not guilty of the Arizona charges. Defense attorneys, however, said evidence presented at the hearing spotlighted some weaknesses in the Arizona case, including a less-specific method of testing DNA that investigators used to link a specimen found on "Victim B" to Sharper.
A Sharper defense attorney, Skip Donau, said that because the Arizona Department of Public Safety used a less-specific test to connect Sharper to the victim, the test also found DNA from as many as three men. He said a roommate saw Sharper on top of "Victim B,'' engaging in sex with "Victim B'' while she was passed out on a couch.
Cohen also got a detective to explain why a crime lab might not have found more evidence that Sharper had sex with the victim. Tempe police Detective Kevin Mace testified that the second woman, referred to as "Victim A,'' told him Sharper revealed to her that he had a vasectomy.
Sharper would be incapable physically of generating sperm after a vasectomy, Cohen said in court. Sharper waived his appearance at the hearing because he is still in custody in Los Angeles, but his father and his brother attended the proceedings on his behalf. Facebook Twitter. No bond for ex-NFL star in Tempe sex-assault case.
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