Darren Sharper, the former NFL great who has already pled not guilty to charges that he raped and drugged two women in Los Angeles, gave himself up to L.A. police yesterday to face two new rape charges — this time in New Orleans.
The retired New Orleans Saints star is accused, along with an another man, of drugging and raping both women on September 23 on last year, the day before he appeared at a special football camp for women set up to promote breast cancer awareness.
In another bizarre twist to the Darren Sharper story, in 2010 an essay credited to him appeared in a book entitled NFL Dads Dedicated to Daughters, published by the organization A Call To Men, dedicated to preventing violence against women.
“Money cannot buy the women we love everyday security, which men take for granted,” wrote Sharper in his essay. “So, it’s going to take strong, accountable men to educate young boys and influence other men to deal with women respectfully, honorably and fairly at all times.”
The new charges bring to nine the total of women the 39-year-old Sharper stands accused of raping, across five states. He is also accused of drugging those women and two others in what, if the allegations hold up, appears to be a case of serial date rape.
Cops in Arizona and Nevada also have Darren Sharper under investigation in connection with sexual assaults on women in those states.
Sharper arranged his surrender with the Los Angeles police, who met him at his attorney’s office and took him into custody — again. He has been free on $1 million bail while waiting for his next court date on the L.A. rape charges.
The other man sought along with Sharper on the New Orleans rape charges is 26-year-old Eric Nunez, who ran a Facebook page that helped promote the organization Get Checked Or Check Out, a breast cancer awareness group said to be operated by Sharper’s own marketing agent.
Darren Sharper is charged with aggravated rape in the New Orleans cases, which in Louisiana is a crime punishable by life in prison without parole.
Each woman who has come forward to accuse Darren Sharper tells an eerily similar story. Sharper met the women at parties or nightclubs, then took them back to his residence or hotel room where he offered them drinks. After drinking whatever Sharper gave them, the women passed out and would wake up later with no memories of the prior several hours.
In some cases, women said they awakened with Sharper on top of them in the cat of raping them. In others, they woke up in discomfort with the strong sense that they had been sexually assaulted, a sense borne out by medical tests in some cases.
Several of Sharper’s former NFL teammates spoke to The Sporting News, expressing “shock” and “disgust” at the crimes of which Sharper stands accused. One teammate said that Darren Sharper had a reputation as a “womanizer,” but no one suspected him of rape, much less serial rape.