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Warrant: Ex-NFLer Darren Sharper acknowledged sex wasn't consensual

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeSexual AssaultLaw EnforcementDarren SharperNFL Network (tv network)NFL Pro Bowl

Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper and an acquaintance acknowledged that they had sex with two women in New Orleans "without their knowledge or permission," according to an arrest warrant released Thursday.

Sharper, 38, who has been charged with seven rape and drug counts in connection with two alleged attacks in Los Angeles, was taken into custody again last week after New Orleans police issued the warrant for his arrest. He remains in a Los Angeles jail pending a court hearing Friday afternoon.

Two women told New Orleans police that Sharper and his friend — identified as Erik Nunez, 26 — each had sex with them while the women “were under the influence of an unknown substance” on the night of Sept. 23.

The women said they were “substantially impaired by the substance to a degree that both do not recall the entirety of the sexual intercourse,” the warrant said.

Each woman said she “awoke from the stupor” to find Sharper on top of her, “completely nude,” according to the warrant. Both denied consenting to the sex, police said.

Another person, described only as a “known acquaintance,” came into the apartment that night and found Sharper in his boxer shorts, the warrant said. The person then saw Nunez leaving Sharper’s room, also wearing just underwear.

“Through further investigation by the Detective’s it was learned that Nunez and Sharper admitted to other known witnesses that he and Sharper had vaginal and/or oral sex with victim’s #1 and #2 without their knowledge or permission,” the warrant said.

Blair Berk, a Los Angeles attorney representing Sharper, said reports that her client told others the sex was not consensual were “absolutely false.”

[Updated at 5:45 p.m. PST, March 6: Herbert Larson, an attorney for Nunez, questioned the validity of the claims against his client. He said that the original police report made no allegation against Nunez and that the information came from an unknown third party, not the alleged victims.] 

New Orleans police obtained a warrant for their arrest on suspicion of aggravated rape, which authorities said carries a prison sentence of hard labor for life. An Orleans Parish district attorney’s spokesman said Thursday that it remained an open investigation and charges had not been filed.

In all, Sharper is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting at least eight women in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Tempe, Ariz. A ninth woman has accused him of sexual battery in Florida.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection was suspended from his job with the NFL Network after he was first arrested by the LAPD in January; he has since been fired.

Charges have been filed only in the Los Angeles case, though officials in the other jurisdictions said their investigations remain ongoing. Tempe Police Sgt. Mike Pooley said his department had expected to present its case to prosecutors this week, but that could be delayed as they await lab results.

Sharper has pleaded not guilty to the Los Angeles charges.

"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," Berk previously said.

Court documents outline a disturbing pattern in the alleged incidents in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Tempe, which occurred between Sept. 22 and Jan. 15.

Victims reported meeting Sharper  — usually at a nightclub — then going back to his hotel room or home. 

Sharper allegedly offered the women shots to drink, after which they reported immediately blacking out. Many of the women woke up with little or no memory of what happened, but felt as though they had been sexually assaulted. 

The court documents initially said only one woman had been assaulted in New Orleans, but when police announced the arrest warrant, they said “new information” revealed the second victim.

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kate.mather@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeSexual AssaultLaw EnforcementDarren SharperNFL Network (tv network)NFL Pro Bowl
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