Darren Sharper Issued Arrest Warrant for Aggravated Rape Charges in New Orleans

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA  FEBRUARY 20:  Former NFL safety Darren Sharper pleads not guilty to charges of allegedly drugging and raping a pair of women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub, in a Los Angeles Superior courtroom February 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Sharper's bail has been increased from $200,000 to $1 million. (Photo by Bob Chamberlin-Pool/Getty Images)
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Updates from Thursday, April 17

USA Today's Brent Schrotenboer has an update on Sharper's situation:

A Phoenix judge ruled Thursday that former NFL star Darren Sharper is not entitled to bail in Arizona, finding "proof evident and presumption great" that he raped a woman in Tempe on Nov. 21.

In making his ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville cited DNA evidence from inside the woman's vagina that partially matched Sharper's. Sharper did not previously know the woman, identified in court as "Victim B,"according to testimony from Tempe police Det. Kevin Mace. Another woman in the apartment that night, identified as "Victim C," said she witnessed Sharper naked and making thrusting movements over Victim B, who has no recollection of what happened in the hours after consuming a drink Sharper made her that night, Mace said.

Updates from Monday, March 24

A judge has once again refused to let Darren Sharper out of jail according to the Associated Press via USA Today:

Sharper is awaiting trial in Los Angeles after pleading not guilty to charges that he raped and drugged two women last year. He was previously released on $1 million bail before being charged in Arizona with similar counts.

Now, his lawyers say he should be freed again and kept under house arrest because authorities in Arizona have said they won't seek his extradition.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn rejected that argument on Monday, saying she would wait and see if Arizona does seek extradition.

Her ruling came after prosecutors said the Arizona governor's office is preparing a warrant to extradite Sharper, even though he will first go on trial in Los Angeles. An April 15 hearing was set.

Updates from Friday, March 7

Anthony McCartney of the Associated Press provides the latest details on Sharper's New Orleans case: 

A judge refused Friday to immediately release former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper from jail in a Los Angeles rape case but said she would have to free him soon if charges aren't filed in a similar case in Louisiana.

The ruling came after lawyers for Sharper argued that he had been freed on $1 million bail and pleaded not guilty in the Los Angeles case but was jailed again after an arrest warrant was issued last week in Louisiana.

"To hold him into perpetuity on an arrest warrant seems to be grotesquely unfair," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn said.

The report states that a hearing for Thursday was set by the judge to allow Louisiana prosecutors ample time to "charge Sharper or for that state's governor to seek his return through another type of warrant."


Updates from Wednesday, March 5

Darren Sharper is scheduled to appear in New Orleans for a hearing on Friday regarding if he should be extradited to the city after being issued a warrant on two rape cases. Sharper offered to pay for a flight to New Orleans for himself and his lawyer, but wasn't successful according to Naomi Martin of NOLA.com:

Sharper offered to pay for himself and his attorney (Nandi Campbell), acting as an officer of the court, to fly to New Orleans the next morning to turn himself in, Campbell said Wednesday.

But the NOPD refused to momentarily recall the nationwide warrant for Sharper's arrest, which would cause airport security to prevent him from flying.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Wednesday that the seriousness of the allegations -- aggravated rape -- made it impossible for him to allow Sharper to remain free until he arrived in New Orleans the following day. Instead, the department wants to extradite him by flying officers to Los Angeles to bring him back in handcuffs, according to sources close to the investigation.

"After conducting many interviews and collecting substantial evidence, the New Orleans Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Darren Sharper, who is accused of the aggravated rapes of two women in New Orleans," Serpas said in a statement. "If convicted of these crimes, Mr. Sharper may be sentenced to two life sentences in prison.

"This police department was not willing to negotiate with Shaper's attorneys considering the dire seriousness of these allegations."

Original Text

Adding to the litany of charges and allegations former All-Pro safety Darren Sharper faces in Los Angeles for allegedly drugging and raping multiple women, New Orleans police filed an arrest warrant for Sharper on Thursday for the rape of two additional women in Louisiana.    

Sharper, 38, and alleged accomplice Erik Nunez, 26, face two charges of aggravated sexual assault, according to Naomi Martin of The Times-Picayune. Police spokesperson Remi Braden said Sharper and Nunez raped two different women in the same apartment in New Orleans' Central Business District on Sept. 23, 2013. 

Sharper has not yet turned himself in, nor addressed these charges. Braden indicated the investigation is ongoing, and more details are expected to be made available in the coming days. Police have not confirmed whether drugs were involved in the alleged sexual assaults, as they were in the charges filed against Sharper in California.

Sharper was charged in the Los Angeles Superior Court on two felony counts of rape Feb. 14, after allegedly drugging and raping at least two women since October. The motion contends Sharper met up with two women on both the night of Oct. 30, 2013, and Jan. 14 of this year at a Los Angeles nightclub, before drugging and sexually assaulting them. 

The women allege Sharper gave them a shot, after which they began feeling strange and eventually blacked out. Sharper is also facing four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

In the court filing, Los Angeles prosecutors cite multiple other incidents in which Sharper committed similar crimes. Though charges have only been filed in Louisiana and California, Sharper is alleged to have drugged at least 11 women and raped at least seven across four different states. Investigations are ongoing in Nevada and Arizona, but it is unknown at this time whether police plan on pressing charges.

According to briefings obtained by Martin, the New Orleans case stems from a woman meeting Sharper and Saints players on the night of Sept. 22. The woman, who has not been identified as per Louisiana state law, claims to have passed out after Sharper handed her a drink. She then awoke the next day to Sharper sexually assaulting her. 

The following day, she went to Interim LSU Hospital to undergo a sexual assault exam. In early November, those results were turned over to police testers, who found a match to Sharper's DNA. 

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 14: Former pro football player Darren Sharper appears in court along with his attorneys Blair Berk (R) and Leonard Levine (L) on February 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Sharper was charged today with drugging and raping tw
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Sharper, who made five Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams in his 14 NFL seasons, finished his career with a two-year stint with the Saints from 2009 through 2010. He was a member of the franchise's Super Bowl XLIV championship roster. 

A former teammate of Sharper's spoke out anonymously after hearing of the charges, telling Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune:

You've heard stories like this from time to time about a guy, but I never thought in a million years it would be something like this. I'm shocked and disgusted by it. I'm going to wait until the whole thing plays out before I completely judge him. But this would be one hell of a conspiracy for that many allegations to pop up across (five) states in such a tight window of time. I just never heard of something like that. I'm just disgusted by it.

Last Thursday, Sharper pleaded not guilty to the charges filed in California. One of his attorneys, Blair Berk, spoke to reporters after the hearing, optimistic that her client would be cleared of any wrongdoing after the evidence came out.

"We look forward to the true facts being revealed in this case," Berk said. "And we are hopeful Mr. Sharper will be fully exonerated before this case is concluded."   

Sharper is currently free on $1 million bond. He faces life in prison in both Louisiana and California if convicted on all charges.