Darren Sharper pleads not guilty to rape and drug charges

LOS ANGELES, CA (WVUE) - A Los Angeles judge set a $1 million bond Thursday for former Saints player Darren Sharper.

Sharper was in a Los Angeles courtroom facing charges he raped and drugged two women. He  pleaded not guilty.

The judge ruled that Sharper had to pay the bond before he left the courthouse.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to hold Sharper on a $10 million bond because the former football player faces similar allegations in four other states, including Louisiana.

In Los Angeles, he's charged with two counts of rape, one that allegedly happened in October and the other one last month. In both cases, prosecutors say Sharper met the women at the same West Hollywood nightclub.

They say he invited them to another party, but instead took them to his hotel room where he allegedly drugged the women with Ambien and morphine. Investigators say after the women passed out, Sharper raped them.

He's facing two charges of rape, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

California is the only state where Sharper is charged, but he's being investigated for essentially identical crimes in four other states.

Allegations surfaced in Miami, Florida from an incident that happened in 2011. According to a Miami Beach police report, the case involves two women from Georgia who were visiting Miami for spring break. The women say they ended up at an apartment with Sharper and other men, where they passed out and, when they woke up, they believed they'd been sexually assaulted.

The police report, however, found no evidence of a sexual battery taking place.

FOX 8 also obtained the police report from Tempe, Arizona. That report states two women claim they too were drugged by Sharper after a night of partying. They woke up the next morning and suspected they'd been sexually assaulted.

There are also accusations in Nevada and in New Orleans.

The alleged sexual assault in New Orleans happened in September. According to the police report, the woman claims she met her perpetrator at a bar and he took her to his apartment, where she was sexually assaulted.

FOX 8 has learned that investigators interviewed Sgt. Brandon Liccardi with the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office in connection with the case. According to a source, the deputy introduced Sharper to the alleged victim on the night of the incident, and investigators wanted information about text messages sent from Sharper to Liccardi.

Liccardi's attorney told FOX 8 that his client is only a witness and is fully cooperating.

The investigation in New Orleans is continuing.

If convicted in Los Angeles, Sharper faces more than 30 years in prison.

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