Darren Sharper turns himself into L.A. police, faces more rape charges
Former NFL safety and NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper turned himself in to Los Angeles police on Thursday evening without incident after two more rape charges were filed against him. The LAPD confirmed the arrest to CNN.com, but provided no further details.
This came soon after Sharper was charged with two counts of aggravated rape in New Orleans, where a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Sharper was first taken into custody by the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department on Jan. 17 on sexual assault charges. Bail was set at $200,000, which Sharper posted. He pleaded not guilty to the California charges.
In total, Sharper is now accused of raping nine women, and drugging 11, in five states. There are also reports of rapes in Tempe, Ariz.; Miami; and Las Vegas. According to the Los Angeles District Attorney's statement, Sharper was charged with drugging and raping two women -- one last October and one in January -- using zolpidem and morphine to sedate them.
In a motion filed today to increase his bail, prosecutors said Sharper met two women at a West Hollywood nightclub on Oct. 30, 2013, and invited them to another party.
On the way, Sharper allegedly told them he had to stop by his Los Angeles hotel room to pick something up and invited both women up. While there, he allegedly gave each woman a shot. Each woman passed out. Jane Doe #1 allegedly woke up naked hours later with Sharper sexually assaulting her. The second woman allegedly awoke and “interrupted his actions,” the motion states.
The two women then left the hotel.
On Jan. 14, Sharper met two separate women at the same West Hollywood nightclub and invited them to a party. Stopping at his hotel, he allegedly invited both up to his room, offered them a shot, and each passed out.
When they woke up hours later on Jan. 15, one woman believed she’d been sexually assaulted. Both women left his hotel and sought medical treatment.
According to NOLA.com, the New Orleans warrants for Sharper and Erik Nunez (an alleged accomplice) pertain to accusations from two women who told police that they were sexually assaulted in the city's Central Business District on Sept. 23, 2013.
The NOPD said its investigation was ongoing, and did not rule out additional arrests. Police last year received the report of an alleged rape at Sharper's New Orleans residence and turned the case over to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office for consultation. Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman, Cannizzaro's spokesman, said only that Sharper's case remains under investigation.
According to a previously released NOPD report, a woman met Sharper at a Sept. 22 event, then accompanied him to another bar. While there, the woman said, Sharper gave her a drink, which she consumed. Her next memory came several hours later, at around 10 a.m. on Sept. 23, when she woke up to Sharper "on top of her sexually assaulting her," the report said. There was no mention of a second woman or Nunez in that incident report.
Police gave no additional details on Nunez, who was not in the Orleans Parish jail by Thursday evening. On his Facebook page, which has a photo of Sharper, Nunez wrote that he is an NFL event coordinator.
If convicted of aggravated rape in Louisiana, Sharper could face life in prison without the possibility of parole, probation or a suspended sentence.
In a recent statement, Sharper's attorney Nandi Campbell said that "No evidence suggests or implies that a sexual assault occurred. The totality of the witnesses' statements and the physical evidence support the police department and district attorney's decision not to file criminal charges at this time."
Clearly, that paradigm has changed. Sharper played for the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and New Orleans Saints from 1997 through 2010. He led the NFL in interceptions (nine), interception return yards (376) and return touchdowns (three) during the 2009 season, which culminated in a Saints Super Bowl XLIV win over the Indianapolis Colts.