SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) A federal grand jury has added drug charges to the state rape charges facing former New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans announced Friday that Sharper now faces charges that he and a co-defendant — Brandon Licciardi — distributed three illegal drugs ‘with intent to commit rape.’
The federal charges were announced hours after a New Orleans grand jury indicted Sharper, Licciardi and a third man on rape charges.
Sharper, 39, is already in jail in California on charges that he drugged and raped two women there.
He also faces sexual assault charges in Arizona. In that case, he was indicted by an Arizona grand jury in March on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted two women and drugged a third.
Similar accusations against Sharper in Las Vegas remain under investigation.
He was previously released on $1 million bail in the California case but turned himself in on February 27 after an arrest warrant was issued in New Orleans for which he has now been charged.
Sharper is also under investigation in Florida and Nevada and authorities suspect he may have raped nine women in total.
A Los Angeles County investigator 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.
The New Orleans warrant says police learned from witnesses that Sharper and an associate had acknowledged having non-consensual sex with two women. Sharper’s attorneys say he never made such statements.
The warrant does not elaborate on how the information was obtained or disclose the names of the witnesses.
Disturbing details from other police reports also made public paint the picture of a possible serial rapist with a similar series of events in all incidents.
The former all-pro would meet women in a nightclub and invite them back to a hotel room or his apartment to party, said police.
He would then offer them shots spiked with drugs and sexually assault his victims after they passed out, officials said.
Multiple complaints said Sharper used morphine and zolpidem, which is sold under the brand name Ambien, to sedate his prey.
The women then woke up and came to the realization they had been sexually assaulted, according to court documents.
Sharper won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2010 but retired later that year after 14 NFL seasons that also included stints with Green Bay and Minnesota.
He was sacked in February from his job with the NFL Network.
Two other men, both acquaintances of Sharper and one of them a sheriff’s deputy, were also charged as part of the nine-count grand jury indictment.
Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging Sharper and former sheriff’s deputy Brandon Licciardi on counts of distributing controlled substances with the intent to commit a crime of violence, witness tampering and impeding a federal investigation.
All three face life sentences stemming from multiple rape allegations against them, according to the newspaper.