Page One

Raiders’ Russell pleads innocent to sexual assault

By Justin Pritchard The Associated Press
Tuesday March 26, 2002

ALAMEDA — Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Darrell Russell pleaded innocent to sexual assault charges on Monday. 

Russell and two friends were arrested early last month after a 27-year-old woman claimed she was drugged and raped in an Alameda home on Jan. 31. 

Russell was charged with 25 felonies as an accomplice. He has been free since posting bail on Feb. 7. Prosecutors contend Russell ran a videocamera that taped the woman being assaulted by at least one of his friends. 

Under California law, Russell could be found guilty of crimes committed by either of his two friends charged in the case if he did not intervene. 

Naeem Perry, 24, of Berkeley, and Ali Hayes, 27, of Oakland, also were charged in connection with the alleged assault. 

Prosecutor Kevin Murphy said Monday the woman could be asked to recount the alleged incident when the case resumes for a preliminary hearing June 10. 

Russell, the second overall pick in the 1997 draft out of Southern California, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection. 

He currently is serving a one-year NFL suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.