Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper pleads guilty to sexual assault
Former National Football League star Darren Sharper pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges filed in Arizona on Monday and was sentenced to nine years in prison shortly before facing more sex crime charges in a Los Angeles courtroom.
Los Angeles: Former National Football League star Darren Sharper pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges filed in Arizona on Monday and was sentenced to nine years in prison shortly before facing more sex crime charges in a Los Angeles courtroom.
Sharper, 39, was accused of raping two women after spiking their drinks at a Tempe, Arizona, apartment in November 2013. A grand jury in Maricopa County indicted him last March on two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering dangerous drugs in connection the allegations.
In an agreement with prosecutors to settle that case, he pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted sexual assault and was sentenced to nine years in prison, according to Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County attorney.
Sharper`s guilty plea was entered by telephone conference call from Los Angeles, where the former five-time Pro Bowl safety is being held on separate charges of drugging four women and raping two of them in West Hollywood.
He initially pleaded not guilty in the California case but was due to appear in court in Los Angeles later on Monday for a change-of-plea hearing there, according to prosecutors.
Sharper, who helped the New Orleans Saints win the 2010 Super Bowl, was indicted in December on charges of sexually assaulting two women at his New Orleans apartment in September 2013.
Last week, he was charged in Nevada with sexually assaulting two women who were "physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of the defendant`s conduct," according to a criminal complaint filed there.
Under terms of the Arizona plea deal, Sharper will serve his time in a federal prison, concurrent with any other sentence he may receive in other states, Cobb said. He received credit for more than 300 days already spent incarcerated in California as part of his stipulated sentence, Cobb said.
Sharper played for the Saints, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings during a standout 14-year NFL career that ended following the 2010 season.
A former second-round draft choice out of the College of William and Mary, Sharper, worked as an on-air analyst for the NFL Network until his arrest in Los Angeles.