The man who led the Baltimore Ravens' investigation of running back Ray Rice's assault against his then-fiancee has been charged with a sex offense.
Online records for the Baltimore City District Court accessed by the Associated Press late Tuesday showed that Darren Sanders was charged with a fourth-degree offense related to an incident that occurred Dec. 14. No further details were immediately available. Under Maryland law, a fourth-degree sexual offense is punishable by a maximum of a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
The summons issued Tuesday gave Sanders' address as that of the team headquarters in suburban Owings Mills, Md. He is due in court Feb. 9.
Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne told the Baltimore Sun in a statement, "We are aware of the situation and have been investigating thoroughly."
Sanders' attorney Andrew Alperstein told the paper that the claims were "totally fabricated, made up."
"It does a disservice to real victims when people make things up like this," Alperstein said. "People like [Sanders] are susceptible to made-up allegations. It puts you in a vulnerable position."
Sanders, a former Baltimore police homicide detective, made the headlines earlier this year amid controversy over whether the Ravens attempted to obtain footage of Rice striking Janay Palmer in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino Feb. 15. According to an ESPN report, Sanders received a description of the footage over the phone from an Atlantic City police officer who told Sanders he happened to be Ravens fan. The report noted that Sanders relayed the description to team executives, but did not mention whether the description reached team owner Steve Bisciotti or team president Dick Cass.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games, but later lengthened the suspension to an indefinite time period after TMZ released the inside-the-elevator footage on Sept. 8. Last month, a former federal judge acting as an arbitrator overturned Rice's indefinite suspension on appeal and ruled that he was immediately eligible to return to the field.
However, Rice was cut by the Ravens after the elevator footage was made public, and has been unable to find work with another NFL team.
The Ravens finished the 2014 NFL season with a 10-6 record and will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in a playoff game Saturday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.