NFL Network analyst and former safety Darren Sharper was arrested yesterday on suspicion of rape by the Los Angeles Police Department at 3:00 p.m. and booked at 5:06 p.m. Bail was set at $200,000, and Sharper was released at 11:56 p.m. after the amount was paid. Sharper has a court date set for the 14th of February, and those are all the details we have regarding the 38-year-old’s arrest at this point in time, mostly courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department.
TMZ reported on the news as well, and law enforcement sources told TMZ that the felony rape charges that Sharper faces stem from sexual assaults that occurred this month and back in October of 2013. The fact that there are two incidents paint a very grim picture of Sharper, and it will be interesting to see what the exact details are. We don’t know the identities of any of the victims, but, most importantly, we don’t know anything about either encounter. And hopefully none of the info is distorted either between now and his court date.
Sharper was one of the best safeties in the league during his 1997-2010 playing career, and he won a Super Bowl ring following the New Orleans Saints storybook 2009 season. The interception-maestro spent most of his 14-year career (eight seasons) with the Green Bay Packers, but he also played for the rival Minnesota Vikings. Sharper had 63 career interceptions, leading the league in that stat twice. He was well-regarded for both racking up INTs and racking up yards and TDs off of INTs, as he had 11 pick sixes in his career. Sharper was an excellent player, but his Hall of Fame case could take a blow with this latest arrest. And if guilty of rape, Sharper’s legacy will rightfully be tainted as a result. It would be irresponsible to make any judgement calls, of course, until all details are shared and as it stands right now, no details have been given.