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Ex-Viking Sharper pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges


Former Vikings safety Darren Sharper pleaded not guilty to charges of drugging and raping two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub.

CBS reports Sharper had been free on $200,000 bail. At a hearing Thursday his bail was increased to $1 million.

According to CBS, prosecutors had asked that Sharper's bail be increased to $10 million after allegations that he has "committed several offenses against multiple victims in numerous jurisdictions."

Sharper is facing charges of rape by use of drugs. He is also facing four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

According to the CBS report, prosecutors say the charges involve two alleged rapes of women he met at the Bootsy Bellows on Oct. 30 and Jan. 15. They claim the attacks occurred in a hotel room after Sharper allegedly drugged the women with sleep medication zolpidem and morphine.

If Sharper is convicted on all of the charges, he faces more than 30 years in state prison, according to the CBS report.

The Associated Press reports Sharper's lawyers said they would prove any sexual contact Sharper engaged in was welcomed.

But an LAPD investigator wrote that he has reviewed police reports from New Orleans, Las Vegas and Tempe, Arizona, involving similar alleged sexual assaults that took place between September and this January.

Superior Court Judge Renee Korn said, "The court considers these crimes quite serious and has to protect the public."

Korn ordered Sharper remain in Los Angeles, stay away from nightclubs and not be alone with any women he didn't know before October. The judge set a court date for April 15 to schedule a preliminary hearing.

Sharper is also the subject of another sexual assault investigation, in Florida. The Miami Herald reports Miami Beach Police are investigating Sharper after a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by him in late 2012.

Police opened the investigation into Sharper on Jan. 19, two days after he was arrested in Los Angeles. Once learning of Sharper's arrest in Los Angeles, the alleged victim said she wanted to "clear her conscience," according to the Herald.

Sharper played for the Vikings from 2005-2008. He was also in Green Bay from 1997-2004 and the New Orleans Saints from 2009-2010.

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