Darren Sharper to Get Nine-Year Sentence With Plea Deal
LOS ANGELES — The former N.F.L. star Darren Sharper pleaded no contest on Monday to drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles as part of a broader plea deal in four states that will send him to prison for nine years. Darren Sharper acknowledged the crimes in Los Angeles Superior Court after pleading guilty by video to sexual assault in Arizona.
Darren Sharper, 39, said he was entering the plea because it was in his best interest. He had faced up to 33 years in prison if he had been convicted of all counts against him in California. Sharper, a former all-pro safety who won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints, admitted he had drugged and raped two women he met at a West Hollywood bar in 2013 and 2014.
The women were not in court, but prosecutors said they had agreed to the plea deal. In the Arizona case, Sharper admitted sexually assaulting one woman and trying to attack another in suburban Phoenix in 2013.
Under the deal negotiated by his lawyers and state and federal prosecutors, Darren Sharper will serve a nine-year federal prison term for similar crimes in Louisiana, Nevada, Arizona and California.
Similar hearings will follow in Las Vegas on Tuesday and in New Orleans in the next month. In each state, Darren Sharper is accused of drugging women and sexually assaulting them when they were unable to resist or consent.
He was sentenced immediately in the Arizona case, which is unusual. Sentencing in California was scheduled July 15.
Darren Sharper retired from the N.F.L. in 2011 after a 14-year career split among three teams, and he later worked as an analyst for the NFL Network.
All the alleged sexual assaults happened after Darren Sharper’s retirement as a player.