Prosecutors in Las Vegas have filed rape charges against ex-Saints player Darren Sharper, who already faces sexual assault charges in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Arizona.
The latest charges could bring the Sharper case to a head. It was doubtful his lawyers could have started finalizing a global plea deal that would resolve all of the cases against him before formal charges were filed in all of the jurisdictions where he faces accusations, said New Orleans defense lawyer Donald “Chick” Foret, a former federal prosecutor and local legal analyst.
In all four states where Sharper faces charges, he has been accused of drugging women and raping them, sometimes in conjunction with alleged accomplices.
Sharper’s attorney, David Chesnoff, appeared Friday before a Las Vegas judge on two sexual assault charges involving a pair of women in January 2014. Chesnoff said Justice of the Peace Janiece Marshall set a court hearing for April 3.
Police records generated by investigations in other cities outline how Sharper was suspected of raping two women and drugging a man he met at nightclubs in Las Vegas.
A police summary of the rape accusations says the former NFL All-Pro safety met two women from Boston at Surrender nightclub in Las Vegas the night of Jan. 15. The two women and Sharper then allegedly went to Light nightclub early the next morning before heading up to Sharper’s room at the Cosmopolitan hotel with him and another man the females knew.
At the hotel, Sharper, the other man and one of the women “smoked a blunt on the balcony area.” Then that woman and the other man split a shot of alcohol Sharper gave them. The second woman drank a whole shot.
Both women said they blacked out. One said she woke up on the couch of Sharper’s hotel suite with the snaps in the crotch area of her bodysuit unsnapped and some unknown, moist substance in her hair, which was matted. That woman said her hands and the snaps around the bodysuit’s crotch “smelled like latex,” according police records.
The second woman woke up in Sharper’s bed before she went to the bathroom and saw that her face had been cut. The woman recalled having sexual contact with Sharper, but “she was ‘blacked out’ and did not consent,” the summary said.
The other man, who is not identified by name in the police records, said the next thing he remembered after taking the shots with Sharper and the women was being at the casino bar. He tried to go back to the room where Sharper and the women were, but there was no answer at the door, and “when security attempted to open the door, the safety latch was on.”
Both of the women underwent medical forensic exams before they returned to Boston.
In New Orleans, federal authorities have charged Sharper and a man named Brandon Licciardi of distributing drugs sold under the brand names Ambien, Xanax and Valium with the intent to commit rape during a four-year period ending in 2014.
Licciardi, an ex-deputy in St. Bernard Parish, resigned from the sheriff’s office there on Dec. 12 after both state and federal indictments related to the case against him and Sharper were returned in New Orleans. The 30-year-old is being held without bail in St. Charles Parish on the six-count federal indictment, which also charges him with twice trying to dissuade a female witness from revealing information about him to a grand jury.
The associated state indictment in New Orleans also charges Sharper, 39, and Erik Nunez, 27, with aggravated rape, a crime carrying a mandatory life prison sentence in Louisiana.
Licciardi and Nunez have pleaded not guilty.
Sharper, 39, is jailed for now in Los Angeles, where following an arrest on Jan. 17, 2014, he was charged in a state court with rape by use of drugs, four counts of sale or transportation of Ambien and one count of morphine possession. A preliminary hearing in that case was set to begin Friday.
Aside from facing rape charges in Arizona and now Las Vegas, Sharper had been investigated for similar incidents in Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.