Retired NFL player Darren Sharper plead guilty to sexual assault on Monday afternoon in an Arizona court room, and was immediately sentenced to nine years in federal prison. The former All-Pro safety was accused of drugging and sexual assaulting women in California, Louisiana, Nevada and Arizona.
ESPN reports that Sharper plead guilty to sexually assaulting one woman and trying to attack another one in Phoenix in 2013. Normally the sentencing phase of a trial can be delayed for weeks or even months after the defendant pleads guilty, however, the judge in Arizona decided that immediate sentencing was appropriate for Sharper.
Darren is currently being held in the Los Angeles County Jail for similar charges, so he appeared by video conferencing on Monday. In Los Angeles, he is being accused of drugging and raping two women in 2013. In a previous article by the Inquisitr, it was reported that Sharper supposedly spiked the drinks of the two women with the sleeping medication Ambien. As of today, Sharper has plead not guilty to the charges he is facing in Los Angeles publicly, but his attorney announced Friday that he has reached plea agreements with the prosecutors in all cases against him.
In Nevada, Sharper agreed to plead guilty to one count of attempted sexual assault for trying to attack two different women. According to the Los Angeles Times, Sharper will serve his nine years for the crimes in Nevada and Arizona in federal custody, and his sentence will serve concurrently with any other sentence he receives from his pending cases in California and Louisiana. His sentence also includes a lifetime of probation, so he will be supervised by the court system no matter where he goes.
In Louisiana, Sharper is facing federal drug charges as well as aggravated rape, which has the potential to carry a sentence of life in prison. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said in a statement to the media, that he expects Sharper will enter a guilty plea sometime within the next 30 days. Sharper was indicted along with his friend Eric Nunez and St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s deputy Brandon Licciardi.
Licciardi was charged with human trafficking, rape and battery.
Sharper announced his retirement from the NFL in 2011 after a 14 year career. He left the NFL with 63 career interceptions, which ranked him as sixth of all time. He also had 13 defensive touchdowns, which ties him for first with Rod Woodson and Charles Woodson. Sharper is also the only NFL player to lead in interception return yards over three different seasons (2002,2005,2009).