Ex NFL player Darren Sharper accused of drugging, raping women

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 14, 2014 1:51 PM

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former professional football player Darren Sharper, a star defensive back turned television sports analyst, was charged on Friday with drugging four women and raping two of them in the Los Angeles area, prosecutors said.

Sharper, 38, was scheduled to appear for arraignment in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday in connection with the alleged incidents, which prosecutors said occurred in October and January.

Sharper spent most of his 14-year National Football League career with the Green Bay Packers, but also played for the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, helping the Saints win a Super Bowl title in 2010.

He retired the following year, after leading the league twice in interceptions and three times in defensive touchdowns. He was selected five times for the Pro Bowl and twice as a First-Team All-Pro.

Sharper is charged with two counts of rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Neither Sharper not an attorney representing him was immediately available for comment.

The alleged crimes occurred on October 30 and January 14, prosecutors said.

In each of the cases, prosecutors said, Sharper met two women at a West Hollywood nightclub and brought them to his Los Angeles hotel room, where the alleged drugging and assaults took place. At the time, Sharper had been working as a television analyst for the NFL Network,

The statement did not identify the drug he is accused of using.

Los Angeles police detectives arrested Sharper on January 17, and he was released on bail of $200,000. Prosecutors filed formal charges against Sharper on Friday.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Stacy Okun-Wiese was expected to ask a judge on Friday to raise Sharper's bail to $10 million, saying the Miami resident may also be a suspect in assaults in Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana, prosecutors said in a statement.

The NFL Network suspended Sharper without pay in January after his arrest.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Steve Gorman and Gunna Dickson)