Darren Sharper, a retired NFL All-Pro defender and lately, accused serial rapist, entered a not guilty plea in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday to charges that he drugged two women then raped them while they were unconscious.
But even as Darren Sharper was denying the allegations before a judge, another woman in Miami Beach came forward with an eerily similar story of being raped by Sharper while asleep after meeting the former Green Pay Packers and Minnesota Vikings star at a nightclub and returning with two of her friends to a condo owned by Sharper.
The new allegation brings to eight the number of women Sharper is now accused of raping, in five different states. Each alleged victim tells a similar narrative involving meeting Sharper at a party or nightclub, becoming quickly and unsually intoxicated after Darren Sharper gave them drinks, then waking up either feeling they had been sexually assaulted or with Sharper on top of them in the process of raping them.
In Los Angeles Thursday, Judge Renee Korn hiked Sharper’s bail from the $200,000 set at his previous court appearance last Friday, to $1 million. She also barred Darren Sharper from being alone with any woman with whom he was not acquainted prior to the date of his first alleged sexual assault, October 30 of last year.
According to court documents and police reports, DNA evidence links Sharper to a rape in New Orleans. Also, a cup he used to give a drink to one reported victim was found to contain residue of the generic drug zolpidem, known commercially as Ambien.
Prosecutor Stacy Okun-Wiese noted that Darren Sharper has filled an Ambien prescription three times in two months and somehow used 70 Ambien tablets in a 65 day period. Okun-Wiese described hearing recordings of the women accusing Darren Sharper of rape as being like “listening to the same person over and over again.”
Each tells a disturbingly similar story of meeting and acceptng drinks from Darren Sharper, then passing out and waking up with no memory of what transpired the night before.
A lawyer for Darren Sharper, Leonard Levine, said that while the ex-NFL star had sex with the women, the encounters were not rape but, “all consensual contact with women who wanted to be in his company.”