Sharper to face rape charges next month

Associated Press
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Former Green Bay Packers safety Darren Sharper leaves Los Angeles Superior Court last year.

LOS ANGELES — A preliminary hearing for former Green Bay Packers safety Darren Sharper on charges that he drugged and raped two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub has been tentatively set for Feb. 17.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge set the new hearing date on Tuesday after meeting privately with prosecutors and defense lawyers.

Sharper said he agrees with the delay.

Judge Michael Pastor said the hearing was postponed because of scheduling and evidence issues that he didn't explain.

Sharper, 39, has pleaded not guilty to giving women drugs and raping them while they were unconscious. He's been in custody since February.

He faces similar charges in Arizona and Louisiana, and federal authorities have ordered the Los Angeles sheriff to turn him over to U.S. marshals in New Orleans by Feb. 23.

Sharper played for the Packers from 1997 to 2004, then for the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. He retired after the 2010 season.

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