NEW ORLEANS – Former NFL star Darren Sharper is scheduled to make his first appearance in U.S. District Court in New Orleans to face federal charges that he drugged women in order to rape them.
A member of the Saints team that won the Super Bowl in 2010, Sharper was set to appear Monday afternoon before a federal magistrate judge. Proceedings in state court, where he faces aggravated rape charges, are set for Tuesday. Sharper already has pleaded guilty or no-contest in three states.
Sharper, 39, was a safety who had nine interceptions during the Saints' 2009 season, which ended with a Super Bowl victory in February 2010. He retired after the 2010 season and was working as an analyst for the NFL Network before being fired when the rape allegations surfaced.
He was arrested on suspicion of rape in Los Angeles in January of 2014. Formal charges were filed the following month there, followed by charges in the other states, culminating in December with state and federal grand jury charges in New Orleans.
The federal indictment charged Sharper and another man with distributing the drugs alprazolam, diazepam and zolpidem — more commonly known by the brand names Xanax, Valium and Ambien, respectively — with the intent to commit rape.
The two Louisiana state counts of aggravated rape stemmed from accusations that he sexually assaulted two drug-impaired women at his apartment in September 2013.
Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times during a career that included stints with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and the 2010 game Saints victory.