Darren Sharper, the 14-season NFL great, was indicted on two counts of aggravated rape Friday in a case that bears creepy similarities to the accusations against comedian Bill Cosby. Sharper has also been arrested in Los Angeles, where he is currently jailed on charges of drugging and raping two women.
In total, Sharper faces accusations that he drugged and raped eight women in five different states.
In the Cosby case, the iconic comedian is accused of attacks on about two dozen women over a period of decades starting from the earliest days of Cosby’s fame in the 1960s, when he became a well-known stand-up comic and co-starred in the TV series I Spy, which aired on NBC between 1965 and 1968.
In most of the accusations leveled against Cosby — for which he would escape criminal charges due to an expired statute of limitations — his alleged victims have claimed that Cosby first incapacitated them with drugs, either added covertly in a drink or given as pills, which Cosby described as cold medicine or something similar.
In the accusations against Darren Sharper, a five-time NFL Pro Bowl pick who was named to the league’s All Decade team for the 2000s, he is reported to have spiked the drinks of his alleged victims with a powerful drug that police suspect was the popular sleeping medication Ambien.
In the New Orleans case, for which Sharper, 39, was indicted Friday along with his friend Eric Nunez of Metarie, Louisiana, the former New Orleans Saints cornerback is charged with drugging two women and having sexual relations with them while they lay unconscious, and without their “knowledge or consent.”
Another friend of Sharper’s, a St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s deputy Brandon Licciardi, was also indicted on rape, human trafficking, and battery charges.
The New Orleans incident for which Sharper is charged allegedly took place on September 23 of 2013.
Sharper has also been indicted in Arizona on charges of raping three women while they were passed out from drugs he slipped into their drinks. He faces two similar rape charges in Los Angeles, and is under investigation in both Nevada and Florida, where alleged victims have also come forward saying they were drugged and raped while unconscious by Sharper.
In one important difference from the Bill Cosby case, however, Darren Sharper would face life in prison if convicted in Louisiana, and up to 30 years for the California rape charges.