Former NFL Pro Bowler Darren Sharper Arrested on Suspicion of Rape

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Former NFL Pro Bowler Darren Sharper Arrested on Suspicion of Rape
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Updates from Friday, Feb. 14

Los Angeles Times reporters Kate Mather and Richard Winton report that Sharper has been charged:

Former NFL Pro Bowl player Darren Sharper was charged Friday with two counts of rape by use of drugs, Los Angeles County district attorney's officials said.

Sharper, 38, is also facing four counts related to carrying or transporting the sedatives he allegedly used, including the drug zolpidem, or Ambien. He is also charged with one count of being in possession of morphine.

Updates from Friday, Jan. 24

According to a report from Naomi Martin of The Times-Picayune, Sharper is facing another rape accusation stemming from an incident in September 2013:

The woman told police she went to a "couple" of bars, where she consumed a "large amount of alcohol" on Sunday, Sept. 23. She said she met Sharper at one of the bars and he took her back to his apartment at 701 Tchoupitoulas St around 10 a.m., according to the report.

There, he had sex with her without her consent, she told police. "The victim stated she did not consent to any sexual behavior," the report says.

She called the police and gave her statement to Special Victims Unit Detective Derrick Williams on Sept. 24 at 10 a.m., the report says.

TMZ is reporting that Sharper's camp has broken its silence on the situation:

Darren Sharper's camp has finally broken its silence on the sexual assault investigation in New Orleans .. telling TMZ Sports the former NFL star DID NOT rape anyone and there's video that backs him up. 

Now, Sharper's legal team tells TMZ Sports ... "There were numerous witnesses who observed the [accuser] on her own and also observed her after encountering Sharper."

Team Sharper says ... the witnesses say the accuser was "following him willingly throughout the evening" and claims surveillance footage syncs up with the witness accounts. 

Sharper's lawyers say the video has been turned over to investigators. 

"No evidence suggests or implies that a sexual assault occurred," Sharper's lawyer says. 

Updates from Wednesday, Jan. 22

TMZ's Staff provides a synopsis of their law enforcement sources discussing the allegations surrounding Darren Sharper:

Darren Sharper is adamant he's NOT A RAPIST ... insisting the women accusing him of sexual assault are lying ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ Sports. 

[...]

Now, our sources say ... the former NFL star claims he only knows the identity of one of his accusers and insists the encounter was purely consensual. 

We're told Sharper says he met the woman at a nightclub and they went back to his hotel room to "hook up" ... but he didn't do anything wrong. 

---Original Text---

Longtime NFL safety Darren Sharper, who retired after the 2010 season and currently serves as an analyst for the NFL Network, was reportedly arrested in Los Angeles, Calif., in connection with two rapes over the past four months.

WWLTV in Louisiana, where Sharper won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints, reports the former Pro Bowl defensive back was arrested on felony charges Friday, based on information provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Former Saints defensive back Darren Sharper, a prominent member of the Super Bowl winning team in 2010, was arrested Friday on felony charges, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's web site.

TMZ adds that the incidents in question occurred in October 2013 and at some point in January 2014. Sharper was booked on the charges and then released from custody after posting bail, which was set at $200,000.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... the 38-year-old was arrested on Friday—and he's been linked to 2 sexual assaults ... one that occurred in Oct. 2013 and the other in January 2014.

The identity of the alleged victim or victims has not been released.

Sharper was booked at an L.A. jail—and was released on $200k bail.

ABC News provides a report from the Associated Press that confirms the LAPD is investigating Sharper's involvement in two sexual assaults, as well as a possible third incident:

LAPD said it is investigating Sharper in connection with two sexual assaults that occurred in October and earlier this month in the West Los Angeles area.

New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman Remi Braden said Saturday in a statement that NOPD is also investigating an allegation of sexual assault filed against Sharper on Sept. 24.

According to WDSU in Louisiana, the earlier of the two incidents is unrelated to his Los Angeles arrest:

In the New Orleans matter, a woman contacted New Orleans police in September 2013 alleging Sharper sexually assaulted her. An NOPD spokesperson confirmed that the department received the complaint and launched an investigation.

A statement in response to the I-Team's request for comment reads: "The NOPD is investigating an allegation of sexual assault filed against Darren Sharper. As with every case alleging sexual assault, information gathered is extremely sensitive and the top priority of the detectives is to protect the person who filed the complaint. Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot provide additional information at this time."

That case remains open and active. Detectives are investigating what is described as a simple rape -- or sexual assault -- complaint. Officials did not provide any specifics, such as where the incident happened, but sources told WDSU the encounter between Sharper and the alleged victim took place at a private residence in the Warehouse District.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NFL Network has suspended Sharper without pay, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk: "Darren has been suspended without pay until further notice, effective immediately. Regarding the charges, as a matter of policy, we don’t comment on pending legal action."

Sharper spent 14 seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Saints. He was named an All-Pro safety six times and earned five Pro Bowl nominations during a career that included 943 tackles and 63 interceptions in the regular season.

Aside from his consistently strong play over the years, his football career will perhaps best be remembered for helping revitalize the Saints defense en route to victory in Super Bowl XLIV. His veteran presence on the back end of the defense was crucial to the unit's strong play.

The 38-year-old is due in court on Feb. 14 to face the felony charges, according to WWLTV.

 

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