Ex-NFL star Sharper indicted in Arizona sex assaults

Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:13pm EDT
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By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Former NFL star Darren Sharper, who faces accusations in several states of drugging and raping women, has been indicted in Arizona on sexual assault charges, Tempe police said on Wednesday.

Sharper, who played 14 years in the National Football League and helped the New Orleans Saints win a 2010 Super Bowl title, is in custody in Los Angeles, where he is accused of drugging four women and raping two of them.

He faces similar accusations in Louisiana and is the subject of sex crimes investigations in Florida and Nevada.

Sharper, 38, was indicted by a grand jury in Maricopa County on two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering dangerous drugs, said Tempe police Sergeant Michael Pooley in a statement.

Maricopa County prosecutors declined to comment, and the allegations against Sharper were not detailed in the statement, but Pooley has previously said the former defensive back was accused of drugging two women and raping them after they passed out in the early morning hours of November 21.

He said Sharper had served the women drinks at a Tempe apartment where one of the women lived.

Attorney Skip Donau, representing Sharper in the Arizona case, said he has developed "considerable evidence in mitigation" of the charges. He declined to elaborate on that evidence.

"Mr. Sharper is vigorously denying the allegations," Donau said. "He is hopeful that at the end of the process he will be vindicated."   Continued...

Former professional football player Darren Sharper appears for his arraignment at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California February 20, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni