Ex-NFL player charged with rape

Darren Sharper in an undated photo with actress Gabrielle Union
Darren Sharper in an undated photo with actress Gabrielle Union

Former NFL superstar Darren Sharper was on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, many pundits predicted. Now he may be on his way to decades in prison.

The former New Orleans gridiron great has just been charged with 2 counts of rape in Los Angeles after he allegedly drugged multiple women and raped them in his hotel room.

According to the prosecutors, Sharper was charged with rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance, all felonies. He is accused of drugging the women with zolpidem (Ambien).

Sharper was on January 17 in Los Angeles but posted $200,000 bail. He was immediately suspended from his analyst position at the NFL Network without pay.

The charges are in relation to alleged sexual assaults that took place in October and January. Following the arrest, LAPD spokeswoman Sally Madera said that the charges fell under California Penal Code 261(A)(30), “where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused.”

Sharper has vehemently rebuked the charges and has claimed that in one of the cases, a sexual encounter did occur but was consensual. He claimed to have no idea who the other woman accusing him of rape is and said she fabricated the story.

Sharper’s legal troubles aren’t confined to Los Angeles, however, as he was also accused of raping a woman in New Orleans in September, according to police reports released on January 24. An investigation related to those accusations is currently ongoing, and charges have not been filed as of now.

Sharper spent 14 years in the NFL playing safety for the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, finishing his career with 63 interceptions. He made five Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2000 and 2009.

Now, however, Sharper faces three different accusations of rape and several criminal charges.

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