by Aaron Wilson
February 27, 02014
The New Orleans police department has issued an arrest warrant for former New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper, an alleged serial rapist under investigation for nine rapes in five states.
Sharper is allegedly drugging women with Ambien and then raping them while they're unconscious, according to police.
An arrest warrant was issued for Sharper and an acquaintance for allegedly raping two women in New Orleans last September.
Sharper, 38, had previously been accused of rape in New Orleans and is also accused of rape in Los Angeles. He's also accused of crimes in Las Vegas, Miami Beach and Tempe, Ariz.
"Last week, investigators learned that not one, but two women were allegedly sexually assaulted by Sharper in the same apartment the night of September 23rd," New Orleans police said in a statement. "New information uncovered also indicates that Erik Nunez also allegedly raped both women that night at the same location."
Sharper pleaded not guilty in the California case.
Former teammates told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that they are shocked by the allegations.
"You've heard stories like this from time to time about a guy, but I never thought in a million years it would be something like this," a former teammate said. "I'm shocked and disgusted by it. I'm going to wait until the whole thing plays out before I completely judge him.
"But this would be one hell of a conspiracy for that many allegations to pop up across (five) states in such a tight window of time. I just never heard of something like that. I'm just disgusted by it. It's weird to think of someone as a friend and you know him pretty well, and they can completely f---ing shock you like that."
Added former Saints linebacker Scott Shanle: "My initial reaction was innocent until proven guilty. Like so many cases and so many things we've seen come out into the public, people automatically assume someone is guilty. I've dealt with this sort of situation with a friend and teammate of mine who was accused of doing something like this. He missed half the season and it ended up being not true. So when it first came out with Sharper's story, I said, 'Well, let's wait to see if this is true.' But as time has come on, more things have come up. The more things that kept popping up, the worse it looks."
Another former teammate didn't seem surprised, telling the newspaper: "I know how he is with women. I never judged him, but I thought it was inappropriate. I've heard the things he's said about women in the locker room. It's just kind of the culture of the single player. I get it. Not a fan of it. No doubt about it (that Sharper was a womanizer). He lived that up and liked to talk about it. That was his deal for sure."
Sharper is suspended without pay from his NFL Network analyst job.
"Sex addiction is one thing. (Accused of) being a f---ing serial rapist is whole different galaxy," a former teammate said. "I'm pretty torn up about it all. ...You almost don't want to see how this thing ends up. I'm pretty sure I know how it's going to end up."
Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider
Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun