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Former NFL athlete charged with rape in five states

Former NFL athlete Darren Sharper, as some of our readers may have heard, is currently in a lot of legal trouble. Earlier this week, a judge in California ruled that Sharper is to remain incarcerated based on allegations that he raped two women in the state of Arizona. In total, he is being investigated for a total of five rapes, one of which allegedly occurred in Florida.

Last month, Sharper pleaded not guilty to charges that he drugged and raped two women he met at a nightclub in West Hollywood. Charges out of Florida came around the same time. Sharper, though his attorneys, is saying that any sexual contact he had with the women was consensual. In the California case, a conviction could land Sharper over 30 years in prison. Not to mention the possible prison time in other cases. 

The issue of consent is an important one in rape cases. According to the U.S. Justice Department sexual assault is characterized by unwanted sexual contact that stops short of forced intercourse as in rape. Rape can happen when the victim is unconscious or drunk. The key is whether the sex is consensual.  

When an individual is facing charges as serious as rape, it is critical to work with an experienced criminal law attorney. The goal of criminal defense is not simply to get out of charges, but to ensure that the protections available to defendants are utilized throughout the process. By taking advantage of these protections, criminal defendants can minimize the consequences of charges. 

Source: CBS News, “Darren Sharper to remain in jail after Ariz. Charges surface,” Julia Dahl, March 13, 2014. 

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