Sharper's rampage of druggings and rapes could have been prevented, according to a two-month investigation by ProPublica and The New Orleans Advocate based on police records in five states, hundreds of pages of court documents and dozens of interviews across the country.
Nine women reported being raped or drugged by Sharper to four different agencies before his January 2014 capture. But police and prosecutors along the way failed to investigate fully the women's allegations. They made no arrests. Some victims and eyewitnesses felt their claims were downplayed. Corroborating evidence, including DNA matches and video surveillance, was minimized or put on hold.
Perhaps most critically, police did not inquire into Sharper's history. Had they done so, they would have detected a chilling predatory pattern that strongly bolstered the women's accounts.
Sharper typically chose victims who were white women in their early 20s, records show. He picked them up in pairs at nightclubs, and took them home to his hotel or residence. Sharper had drinks with them, sometimes lacing drinks he gave the women with drugs that rendered them unconscious.
Jan. 8, 2011: Darren Sharper plays in his final NFL game as a member of the New Orleans Saints, a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He would officially retire at the end of 2011 after 14 seasons, finishing with 63 career interceptions and 13 defensive touchdowns.
March 18, 2011: Two women file a report with the Miami Beach Police Department alleging sexual assault at Sharper's condo.
March 23, 2011: Miami Beach police close the investigation, classifying it as "miscellaneous/non criminal." They later destroy the rape kits.
Feb. 2, 2013: Sharper allegedly helps to drug a woman the night of a pre-Super Bowl party in New Orleans. The woman is allegedly sexually assaulted by Brandon Licciardi, Sharper's friend and a St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's deputy.
Aug. 31, 2013: Sharper allegedly rapes a woman in New Orleans.
Sept. 23, 2013: Sharper and Licciardi allegedly drug two women in New Orleans. Sharper and accomplice Erik Nunez then rape the women, authorities say. One victim files a report with the New Orleans Police Department.
Oct. 30, 2013: Sharper meets two women at a West Hollywood nightclub, takes them to his hotel room, drugs them and rapes one of the women.
Nov. 7, 2013: One of Sharper's victims from West Hollywood reports the assault to the Los Angeles Police Department. Detective John Macchiarella opens an investigation.
Nov. 20, 2013: Sharper drugs three Arizona State University female students in Tempe, Ariz., and rapes two of them. Victims get sexual assault examinations within 12 hours and file report with Tempe Police Department.
Jan. 14, 2014: Sharper picks up two women at same West Hollywood nightclub, drugs both and rapes one at his hotel. Victims report the incident to Los Angeles police and receive rape examinations.
Jan. 15, 2014: Sharper meets two women and a man in a Las Vegas club, drugs all three. With the women back in his hotel room and unconscious, Sharper sexually assaults both.
Jan. 17, 2014: Los Angeles police arrest Sharper on two counts of sexual assault.
Feb. 27, 2014: New Orleans police issue arrest warrant for Sharper on two rape counts.
March 11, 2014: Grand jury in Arizona files criminal charges against Sharper in Tempe case with two counts of administering dangerous drugs and two counts of sex assault.
If you don't believe Sharper was likely a rapist during his football career, the other choice is to surmise that something broke in his head upon retirement. Or, maybe the stress of not bringing in millions of dollars per year broke him.
But I think it's more likely that Darren Sharper was the same man he always was, --during his NFL career and after his NFL career was over -- and the only thing that really changed was that he was no longer pulling down millions of dollars for his NFL owner.
Sounds Cosby familiar doesn't it?