Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper faces rape, drug charges in 2 cases

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by Chris Patterson

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Former NFL star Darren Sharper was charged Friday in the alleged drugging and rape of two women, one in October and the other last month, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.
 
The five-time Pro Bowl player who became an NFL Network analyst is charged with two counts of rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance, all felonies, the prosecutor's office said.
 
Sharper, 38, who played defensive back for 14 years, appeared Friday in a Los Angeles County court, but his arraignment was postponed till Thursday, said spokesman Ricardo Santiago of the district attorney's office.
 
Sharper was arrested January 17 and released on $200,000 bail, but prosecutors will seek to raise his bail to $10 million, also on Thursday, Santiago said.
 
The alleged controlled substances were morphine and zolpidem, another name for the prescription sleep aid Ambien.
 
On October 30, Sharper met two women at a West Hollywood nightclub and invited them to a party, prosecutors allege.
 
Sharper, who lives in Miami, allegedly told them he had to stop by his Los Angeles hotel room to pick up something, and he invited them to the room. While there, he allegedly gave each woman a drink in the form of shot, and the women then passed out, prosecutors said.
 
The first woman woke up naked hours later as Sharper was allegedly sexually assaulting her, prosecutors said. The other woman awakened and "interrupted his actions," according to court papers cited by prosecutors.
 
The two women left the hotel, prosecutors said.
 
On January 14, Sharper met two women at the same West Hollywood nightclub and also invited them to a party, prosecutors said.
 
A similar series of events allegedly unfolded: Sharper made a stop by his hotel room, invited the women in and allegedly offer them a shot, which caused them to pass out, prosecutors said.
 
When they woke up hours later on January 15, one woman believed she was sexually assaulted, and both women left the hotel and sought medical treatment, prosecutors said.
 
If convicted of the Los Angeles County charges, Sharper would face more than 30 years in state prison, prosecutors said.
 
Prosecutors also allege Sharper is suspected of rape in Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana.
 
Sharper and his attorney couldn't be immediately reached for comment Friday.
 
Sharper's pro football career began as a second-round draft choice by the Green Bay Packers in 1997. After eight seasons with the Packers, including a loss to Denver in Super Bowl XXXII, he moved to the Minnesota Vikings for four years.
 

He signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 2009, which led to a Super Bowl ring that first season. Injuries hampered his second year with the Saints, which led to his retirement in 2011. 

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