Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper accused of sex assault: 7 women, 4 states
At least seven women in four different states have accused former NFL football player Darren Sharper of drugging and sexually assaulting them, according to court documents filed in Los Angeles on Friday.
At least three other women and one man reported being drugged, according to records. Three of the alleged sexual assaults occurred on two consecutive nights in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Sharper on Friday with two counts of rape and five other drug charges in connection with two incidents in October and January. He has not been charged in cases in Las Vegas, New Orleans and Tempe, Ariz.
Sharper, 38, made a brief court appearance Friday morning, but did not enter a plea as his arraignment was pushed to Feb. 20. He was ordered to surrender his passport, to stay in Los Angeles and to avoid the West Hollywood club Bootsy Bellows. He remained free on $200,000 bail.
“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,” Blair Berk, one of Sharper’s attorneys, said outside the courtroom on Friday.
Court documents allege a disturbing pattern in the incidents, which occurred between Sept. 22 and Jan. 15.
Victims reported meeting the five-time Pro Bowl player -- 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 after the drinks, but felt as though they had been sexually assaulted.
The first case mentioned in court documents occurred Sept. 22, when the alleged victim met Sharper at an event for the New Orleans Saints.
New Orleans police said the woman reported drinking a beverage provided by Sharper.
Her next memory was several hours later, waking up “to Defendant Sharper on top of her sexually assaulting her.” She was examined at a hospital the next day and Sharper’s DNA was found, court records said.
Sharper’s attorney in New Orleans, Nandi F. Campbell, said police and the district attorney’s office declined to file charges in the case because of a lack of evidence.
“No evidence suggests or implies that a sexual assault occurred,” Campbell said in a news release.
[Updated at 5:15 p.m. PST, Feb. 14: A spokesman for the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office said the investigation into Sharper remains open and is ongoing.]
On Oct. 30, Sharper allegedly met two women at the Bootsy Bellows nightclub in West Hollywood. As the club was closing, Sharper invited the women to an afterparty but said he needed to stop at his hotel to “pick up something,” according to court documents.
The girls told authorities that Sharper gave them what he described as a shot of “coffee Petron.”
“Within minutes of consuming the beverage, both girls reported to have, ‘blacked out,’” according to the court declaration of L.A. police Det. John Macchiarella.
Several hours later, one of the women woke up naked while Sharper was assaulting her, Macchiarella said. The other woman, walked into the room, “interrupting his actions.”
The women told authorities they immediately left the hotel, and went home to sleep.
About a month later, on Nov. 20, Sharper allegedly went to a nightclub in Scottsdale, Ariz., with two women. After drinking, one of the women, identified as Jane Doe D, “began acting strangely,” prompting her friends to take her home, court documents said.
At her apartment, Sharper gave the other woman and their roommate shots of alcohol, according to court records.
One woman told police she immediately blacked out. The other, identified as Jane Doe F, said she felt “strange and disoriented” and went to her room to lie down. Later, on her way to the bathroom, she told police she saw Sharper on top of one of her roommates “with his buttocks exposed moving in a thrusting motion.”
The next morning, Jane Doe D woke up and found herself naked from the waist down. “She had no memory of the night’s events or how her clothing was removed,” according to Macchiarella’s court declaration.
All three women sought medical treatment. Authorities tested one of the cups Sharper had given the women and found traces of the drug zolpidem, or Ambien, court records show.
The women reported the alleged assaults to Tempe police.
“At this time, the investigation is still ongoing and our detectives are working closely with the Maricopa County attorney’s office in this investigation,” Tempe police Sgt. Michael Pooley said.
On Jan. 14, Sharper returned to Bootsy Bellows in West Hollywood, where he allegedly met two women and invited them to an afterparty as the club was closing.
They stayed at the party until 4 a.m. and then Sharper invited them to a second party. While en route, he said he wanted to stop at his hotel “to pick up some narcotics,” according to court records.
When the girls entered his hotel suite, he gave them shots to drink. Minutes later, the girls reported that they “blacked out.” A few hours later, they woke up on a pullout sofa.
One woman “immediately felt as though she had been sexually assaulted,” according to court records. The girls left the hotel immediately and went home to sleep. Later that evening, both women sought medical treatment.
The women told police they couldn’t remember anything between the time the time they drank the shots and woke up in the hotel.
Later that day, Sharper went to Las Vegas, according to court documents.
He met two women and a man at a nightclub and invited them back to his hotel room. Once again, court documents allege Sharper gave the three shots to drink; all reported immediately blacking out.
One of the women told police she woke up next to Sharper in his bed. When she got up to use the restroom, she saw “visible injuries to her face which she could not account for,” according to records.
She went back to bed and fell asleep. When she woke up, Sharper asked her how she was feeling, claiming that she had vomited the night before.
“Defendant Sharper then provided her with an unknown beverage that he claimed would help her feel better. Jane Doe B took a few sips of the beverage. The next thing she remembered was Defendant Sharper sexually assaulting her,” the court records read.
The other woman said she woke up alone on the couch and “immediately felt as though she had been sexually assaulted.”
The man who was with them said he had no memories after drinking the shot. He told authorities the next thing he remembered was sitting alone at the hotel bar.
Both women sought medical treatment later that day.
Las Vegas Police Officer Jose Hernandez said the investigation is active and ongoing and will be submitted to the district attorney’s office.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times after his arrest last month, the NFL Network said “we are suspending Darren without pay until further notice, effective immediately.” A spokesman for the network declined further comment saying “as a matter of policy, we do not comment on pending legal action.”
Court documents described Sharper as a Miami Beach, Fla., resident, but said he had been living at a Los Angeles hotel at the time of the alleged offenses.
He faces a maximum sentence of more than 30 years in state prison if convicted of the charges filed Friday.
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