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Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper faces rape allegations

By Alan Duke, CNN
January 18, 2014 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: NFL Network suspends Sharper without pay from analyst job
  • Assaults allegedly happened in October 2013 and this month, police say
  • New Orleans police say they are also investigating Sharper for sexual assault
  • Sharper was freed from jail after posting $200,000 bond Friday

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Former NFL star Darren Sharper faces two rape charges in Los Angeles, police said Saturday.

Sharper, 38, was arrested Friday afternoon by the Los Angeles Police Department's sexual assault section of its robbery-homicide unit, according to LAPD spokeswoman Sally Madera.

The Miami Beach, Florida, resident has been "linked to two sexual assaults in west Los Angeles" that allegedly happened in October 2013 and this month, an LAPD news release said.

Madera said the charges concern California Penal Code 261(A)(30). The code section involves a rape "where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused."

Sharper was freed from jail after posting a $200,000 bond just before midnight Friday, Madera said. He must appear before a judge on February 14 for arraignment, according to county jail records.

Sharper also is being investigated for a sexual assault that allegedly happened in New Orleans on September 24, New Orleans police spokeswoman Remi Braden told CNN on Saturday.

"As with every case alleging sexual assault, information gathered is extremely sensitive and the top priority of the detectives is to protect the person who filed the complaint," Braden said. "Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot provide additional information at this time."

Sharper, a defensive back, became an analyst for the NFL Network after injuries forced an end to his 14-year playing career. The network suspended Sharper without pay in the wake of the arrest, a spokesman told CNN on Saturday.

Sharper did not immediately respond to CNN requests for comment.

Sharper's pro football career began as a second-round draft choice by the Green Bay Packers in 1997. After eight seasons with the Packers, including a loss to Denver in Super Bowl XXXII, he moved to the Minnesota Vikings for four years.

He signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 2009, which led to a Super Bowl ring that first season. Injuries hampered his second year with the Saints, which led to his retirement in 2011.

Sharper was chosen for the Pro Bowl five times.

CNN's Joe Sutton and Jason Durand contributed to this report.

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