Prosecutors decline to charge ex-NFL star Sharper in Miami Beach rape probe
05/16/2014 1:28 PM
05/16/2014 1:30 PM
Former NFL star Darren Sharper won’t face a rape charge in Miami-Dade after prosecutors concluded they could not prove the case.
The ex-Pro Bowl safety still faces sexual battery charges in Los Angeles and Arizona, and there are police probes underway in New Orleans and Las Vegas.
Police and prosecutors in those states believe the former defensive back would spike the drinks of women in nightclubs with drugs, then sexually assault his incapacitated victims. His lawyers have said the sex with the women was consensual.
In the Miami Beach case, the evidence was far from clear cut.
According to a police report, a 22-year-old woman admitted she did not report the alleged attack until after seeing a television report about Sharper’s arrest in another state.
She told police she met Sharper at the Mokai night club on South Beach, then went with friends to his condo. Groggy, she passed out on his bed – then found him atop her in the morning, she told police.
The woman said she reported the incident to “clear her conscience” and did not say she wanted to sue, according to a final memo from prosecutors.
But prosecutors, while noting they had no reason to doubt her credibility, noted that it was only her word against Sharper’s. There was no physical evidence and detectives could never find her friends to back up her version of events. She also gave inconsistent details about what happened that night and the delay in reporting would give ammunition to defense attorneys seeking to undermine her credibility, the state said.
Sharper’s defense attorney, Brian Bieber, criticized police, saying officers failed to initially disclose the woman’s behavior at the police station when she reported the episode, including repeatedly texting with a male friend who sat by her side while she recounted the allegations.
“The allegations were clearly fabricated from the very beginning,” Bieber said.
Sharper, 38, is a five-time Pro Bowl selection who played for Green Bay, Minnesota and the New Orleans during a 13-year career. He won a Super Bowl with the Saints.
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