OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens’ security director won’t accompany the team to its playoff game in Pittsburgh after being charged with a sex violation.
Darren Sanders, 48, was charged Tuesday with a fourth-degree sexual offense, according to online court records for Baltimore City District Court.
The records tied the charge to a Dec. 14 incident but do not say what specifically happened.
Sanders’ lawyers said he denies the allegations.
A hearing is set for Feb. 9.
“We are investigating this case thoroughly,” Ravens senior vice president Kevin Byrne said Wednesday.
Bryne said Sanders was not at work Wednesday and would not join the team when it travels to its wild-card game against the Steelers on Saturday night.
The charge against Sanders lists his address as that of the Ravens’ team headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland. Normally, defendants in a criminal case are required to list a home address.
A spokesman for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office on Wednesday declined to discuss the basis for the charge, saying the office does not comment on active cases.
In Maryland, a fourth-degree sex offense is the lowest level of such a charge. It’s punishable by a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
A Baltimore police spokesman did not immediately respond to multiple requests about the case Wednesday.
But Sanders’ lawyers said he did nothing wrong.
“He is innocent and looks forward to his day in court,” the firm of Alperstein & Diener said in a statement.
“Mr. Sanders has worked his entire career to keep others safe as a police officer and as a detective with the Baltimore City Police Department and currently as the senior security director for the Baltimore Ravens,” the statement said. “He is a man who possesses tremendous integrity, and he has worked to ensure public safety by protecting the health, welfare and security of the community.”
News of the summons was first reported by the Baltimore Sun.
Sanders’ first year as a full-time employee with the Ravens was 2004.
This year, Sanders launched the Ravens’ investigation into the Ray Rice domestic violence case after being told by a police officer details of a video that showed Rice hitting his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in a news conference in September that the officer described the scene to Sanders, who relayed the information to other team officials.
“So, (he gave) his description to Darren, Darren took notes and gave his description as he understood it to (coach) John (Harbaugh) and (general manager) and Ozzie (Newsome), I believe,” Bisciotti said.
In 2004, Sanders was charged with bringing a concealed pistol into an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he was shot in the hip when the gun accidentally fired. Sanders, identified in archived accounts of the incident as an off-duty Baltimore police detective, was working at the game as a bodyguard for Bisciotti.
It’s unclear whether Sanders was convicted of the charge against him.