Darren Shaper, former player for the New Orleans Saints has been charged with rape Friday in an Orange County Courtroom in California.
Darren Sharper has been charged with 2 counts of rape in Los Angeles. Arrested on January 17, Sharper had been suspected of raping two women in Los Angeles hotel rooms, one in October 2013 and the other in January 2014. Sharper has continually denied the allegations. Shortly after his arrest, Sharper admitted to an encounter of a sexual nature with one of the women, but claimed it was totally consensual. Sharper still denies the accusations from the second woman, claiming he doesn’t know who she is and calls the accusation a total fabrication.
Among the charges that Sharper faces, besides the two counts of rape by use of drugs, are four counts of providing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. Each of the charges are felonies under California law.
Sources report that Sharper is accused of drugging the women with zolpidem and morphine. He allegedly met the two women at a West Hollywood nightclub and invited them to a private party. On the drive to the party, officials say they stopped at Sharper’s hotel room and he gave each of the women a shot. The women passed out and hours later one of the women claims she regained consciousness while Sharper was sexually attacking her. The second woman claims she woke up and “…interrupted his actions.”
If Sharper is convicted of the charges, he faces more than 30 years in prison. California officials are recommending the judge set Sharper’s bail at $100 million. Sharper has also been accused of raping women in Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana. In Louisiana, as in the recent accusation in California, Sharper claims the sexual encounter was consensual.
Darren Mallory Sharper is a former National Football League (NFL) safety and had played professionally for fourteen years. Prior to his professional career, Sharper played for the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Upon graduation, he was picked up by the Green Bay Packers in 1997. From there, Sharper went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings before ending his football career with the New Orleans Saints. A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Sharper was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team in 2000.
When the 2008 football season ended, Sharper was an unrestricted free agent and signed a one-year contract with the Saints in 2009. In October, he returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown which remains a record for the franchise.
Sharper picked up his first Super Bowl ring on February 7, 2010, helping the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31-17. Following the end of the season, Sharper had micro-fracture surgery on his left knee. In March 2010, Sharper became a free agent which allowed him to sign with another team. After unsuccessfully seeking offers from other professional teams, Sharper ultimately re-signed with the Saints and was placed on the PUP (Physically Unable to Play) list. Finally activated in October of that year, he later missed two more games after further injury.
After workouts with the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers failed to get a contract offer, Sharper announced his retirement from professional football. Sharper remains the only player to ever lead the NFL in interception return yardadge for three separate seasons.
After retiring, Sharper worked for WWL-TV as a sports analyst in August 2012. Offered a similar position with the NFL Network, Sharper went to work as an analyst on the national level.
Sharper was arrested in Los Angeles on January 17, 2014 for two instances of sexual assault and released on $200,000 bond. The NFL Network suspended him without pay immediately as a result. Darren Shaper will have to appear in the courtroom again in the near future to his trial date on the latest charges of rape.
By Jerry Nelson