Former NFL vet Darren Sharper has turned himself in to police in Los Angeles on a fugitive warrant charging him with raping two women in New Orleans, not far from where he was cheered as a local hero after helping the Saints to the franchise’s only Super Bowl win in history in 2010.
Sharper is now being held without bail, according to LAPD officials, who also released an arrest warrant for 26-year-old Erik Nunez, a Sharper acquaintance who faces the same charges stemming from the rape of the same two women just last September.
The 38-year-old Sharper already faces charges he drugged and raped two women in Los Angeles and similar allegations from at least eight other women in five different states. Just last week, a L.A. County judge raised his bail from $200,000 to $1 million on formal charges of rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance, all felonies.
Judge Renee Korn also ordered Sharper to refrain from being around any women he had not meet prior to October 2013, as well as not to frequent any bars, nightclubs or establishments were alcohol is the primary item being sold.
At the same hearing, Sharper’s attorney Leonard Levine told the court the L.A. sex episodes were instances of “consensual contact with women who wanted to be in his company.”
Countered L.A. County Deputy D.A. Stacy Okun-Wiese “it’s the same story. He hangs out with them in clubs. Takes them back. He gives them a shot. They black out. The next day they have no idea of what happened the previous night.”
Sharper is accused of using the sleep-inducing drugs morphine and zolpidem — another name for the prescription sleep aid Ambien – to drug his two alleged victims in L.A., both of whom allege they blacked out after being served a shot by him.
In the New Orleans cases, the women claim they were attacked on the night of Sept. 23 at the same apartment. Louisiana law stipulates that a person convicted of committing aggravated rape shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
A five-time Pro Bowl player, Sharper was named to NFL All Decade 2000 team and was one of the key sparks on the Saints’ 2007 Super Bowl-winning team. Sharper became a NFL Network analyst in recent years, but has been indefinitely suspended by the network in the wake of the ongoing probe.