Former NFL star Darren Sharper, suspected of raping nine women in five states, turned himself into police late Thursday in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Arrest warrants had been issued in New Orleans for Sharper and an acquaintance for the alleged rapes of two women there last September.
The acquaintance, Erik Nunez, 26, is connected to the same charity events in which Sharper sometimes appeared as a star attraction to raise breast cancer awareness or help disadvantaged children, according to social media accounts in his name. A Facebook page in the name of Erik Nunez features a poster advertising the appearances of Sharper and other players along with "Get Checked or Check Out," a health charity that promotes breast-cancer awareness and is run by Sharper's marketing agent, Darryn DeWalt.
A LinkedIn account in Nunez' name describes his job as "event coordinator/sales executive at Get Checked or Check Out."
DeWalt's wife, Cherine, told USA TODAY Sports Thursday said she didn't personally know Nunez but her staff might. She declined further comment. A message left for Darryn DeWalt was not returned. Nunez could not be reached for comment.
Sharper, 38, previously had been under investigation for one alleged rape in New Orleans last September. Last week, a prosecutor in Los Angeles referenced an additional alleged victim in New Orleans – a case that was confirmed by New Orleans authorities Thursday with additional details. Sharper and Nunez each face two counts of aggravated rape.
"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 Nunez also allegedly raped both women that night at the same location."
New Orleans police said additional arrests are possible as the investigation continues. Sharper, who played with the New Orleans Saints, last week pleaded not guilty to charges that that he raped two women in Los Angeles after drugging them. Police suspect he did the same to two other women in Arizona and two in Nevada, where investigations are continuing. In Miami Beach, Fla., police also suspect he raped a woman there last year after she became highly intoxicated.
USA TODAY Sports reported last week that on Sept. 22, the day before the alleged rapes in New Orleans, Sharper sent a message on Twitter to promote a women's football camp near Slidell, La., which he was to attend two days later with New Orleans Saints receiver Lance Moore. The event's promotional poster included the logo of "Get Checked or Check Out."
Court documents state that one alleged rape victim in Louisiana met Sharper at an event for Saints players the same day he sent the tweet. After the event, she accompanied Sharper to a bar and consumed a drink that Sharper gave her. Her next memory is waking up the next day with Sharper on top of her sexually assaulting her, according to the records.
The woman went to the hospital for a sexual assault examination on Sept. 24., the day Sharper was a star attendee at the football camp for women, intended to raise breast cancer awareness. A promotional poster for the event said, "Let's Get Physical" and it advertised "Get Crunk Cocktail Hours."
A swab taken from the alleged victim during her exam showed the presence of Sharper's DNA, according to court records.
Previously, Sharper only faced formal charges in Los Angeles, where he is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in April. More charges could be coming in other states as they complete their investigations.
He was arrested in Los Angeles on Jan. 17. Los Angeles Judge Renee Korn last week raised his bail from $200,000 to $1 million and also set terms for his release, including ordering him not to be alone with women he didn't know prior to Oct. 30, 2013, the date of the first alleged Los Angeles incident. Korn also ordered him not to leave Los Angeles County and not to go to nightclubs, where he allegedly partied with his alleged victims before the alleged rapes.
"The court considers these crimes quite serious and has to evaluate the protection of the public." Korn said.
Sharper's attorney, Leonard Levine, told the judge that "all of these were consensual contact between Mr. Sharper and women who wanted to be in his company, who voluntarily ingested alcohol and drugs in many cases."
According to Louisiana law, a person convicted of committing aggravated rape shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
He faces up to 30 years in prison for the alleged Los Angeles crimes alone.