Sharper arrested on 2 rape counts

Former Saints safety Darren Sharper, who four years ago helped New Orleans’ NFL franchise capture its lone Super Bowl victory, was arrested Friday in Los Angeles on two counts of rape, an allegation for which he is under investigation in New Orleans as well.

Sharper, 38, is suspected of sexual assaults in October and this month in the West Los Angeles area, said Officer Sally Madera, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman.

Sharper, who lives in Miami Beach, Fla., was freed just before midnight on $200,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department records.

He is due to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court on Feb. 14.

It was not clear whether more than one person accused him of the crimes.

Sharper also is under investigation in New Orleans for an alleged sexual assault on Sept. 24, according to the New Orleans Police Department.

WWL-TV, citing sources, reported that the local rape happened in the Warehouse District. According to an NOPD crime map, a simple rape was reported about 5 a.m. that day in the 700 block of Tchoupitoulas Street.

NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden declined to release details about the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

“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,” she said.

Chris Bowman, a spokesman for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors are reviewing the case.

Attempts Saturday to contact Sharper were unsuccessful.

It was not clear whether he has an attorney.

Sharper played in the NFL from 1997 to 2010, earning All-Pro recognition twice and being selected for five Pro Bowls.

He joined the Saints in 2009 after spending much of his career with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.

He intercepted nine passes during his first year with the Saints and returned three for scores — a career high — as the team finished No. 1 in the NFC with a 13-3 record and went on to win its only Super Bowl championship.

Sharper was tied for the league lead in interceptions that year and returned them for a total of 376 yards, an NFL record.

Despite a career that included being named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s, Sharper’s last year with the Saints and in the NFL was quieter. He appeared in only eight games in 2010 and started only one.

Since retiring from football, he worked for the NFL Network as an analyst, but he was removed from that post after his arrest.

“Darren has been suspended without pay until further notice, effective immediately,” the NFL Network said in a statement. “Regarding the charges, as a matter of policy, we don’t comment on pending legal action.”