Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper due in court on drug, rape charges

Former NFL star Darren Sharper is set to be arraigned Thursday in Los Angeles on rape and drug charges in an investigation into allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted at least seven women in four states.

Sharper, 38, was charged last week with seven rape and drug counts involving four women he allegedly met at a West Hollywood nightclub. Court documents filed Friday revealed additional allegations in Las Vegas, New Orleans and Tempe, Ariz., that are all still under investigation.

The former New Orleans Saints safety appeared in court for the first time Friday but did not enter a plea as his arraignment was pushed to Thursday afternoon.

He remained free on $200,000 bail posted after his Jan. 17 arrest but was ordered to surrender his passport, stay in L.A. and avoid the West Hollywood club.

If convicted of the charges, Sharper faces more than 30 years in state prison, prosecutors said.

His attorneys said last week that Sharper is innocent.

"We look forward to the true facts being revealed in this case, and we are hopeful that Mr. Sharper will be fully exonerated before this case is concluded," attorney Blair Berk said outside the courtroom.

Court documents laid out a series of allegations against Sharper that occurred between Sept. 22 and Jan. 15. Women reported meeting Sharper -- usually at a nightclub -- then going back to his hotel room or another location. The women, who were often in pairs, said Sharper then gave them shots of alcohol that caused them to black out.

Some of the women said they awoke hours later to find Sharper assaulting them or a friend. Many said they could remember nothing between drinking the shots and waking up. Authorities said Sharper's DNA was found on one of the victims during a medical examination. In another incident, the sleep-aid drug zolpidem -- an Ambien generic -- was found in a cup he had given another victim, officials said.

Charges have been filed only in connection with the L.A. allegations, though officials in the other jurisdictions said their cases remained open.

Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the LAPD's investigation was also ongoing.

"Any time we have a case like this, we are looking for more victims," Smith said.

Authorities said Sharper, who also played for the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, was a Miami resident but was living in Los Angeles in recent months for his work. He most recently was an analyst for the NFL Network, but was suspended without pay after his arrest.


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