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Ex-Saints safety Sharper surrenders to police on warrant

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The Canadian Press
2/28/2014 1:18:44 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper surrendered to Los Angeles police after being named in a warrant involving a rape case in New Orleans.

Sharper, 38, also is under investigation in sexual assault cases in Florida, Nevada and Arizona and has pleaded not guilty to rape charges in Los Angeles.

Sharper's surrender Thursday night had been arranged in advance, LAPD Officer Bruce Borihan said. He was being held at the downtown Metropolitan Detention Center.

In a bail motion filed in the California case, Los Angeles County Investigator John Maccharella described a pattern in which the former football star met women at clubs or parties and lured them to a hotel room, where they were allegedly drugged and raped.

Lawyers for Sharper, who played in the NFL from 1997 to 2010 primarily with the Green Bay Packers, have said they would prove that any sexual contact Sharper engaged in was welcomed.

The motion says the incidents happened in the past five months, with two occurring within a day in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Maccharella said he was told a woman went to a New Orleans bar with Sharper, consumed an alcoholic beverage provided by him and blacked out. She awoke the next morning while being sexually assaulted, the bail motion stated, noting that an exam later showed Sharper's DNA was present.

Another man facing rape charges in the New Orleans case turned himself in to police there on Friday.

Erik Nunez, 26, was booked on two counts of aggravated rape stemming from alleged assaults last September in New Orleans, police said.

Police issued warrants on Thursday for Sharper and Nunez. They face charges in the alleged rape of two women at the same location Sept. 23, police spokeswoman Remi Braden said.

Sharper's New Orleans-based lawyer, Nandi Campbell, and lawyer Leonard B. Levine, who represents Sharper in the California case, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Braden said she did not know whether Nunez had a lawyer.

The assault investigation in New Orleans is ongoing and additional arrests are possible, Braden said.

If convicted in the California case, Sharper could face more than 30 years in state prison. If convicted of aggravated rape in Louisiana, both Sharper and Nunez could face life imprisonment.

Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Green Bay Packers as a rookie and a second with the New Orleans Saints.

Sharper retired after the 2010 season. He is an analyst for the NFL Network, which has suspended him indefinitely without pay.

Darren Sharper (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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