Former NFL DB Darren Sharper sentenced to nine years in prison
(WWLVTV.COM) NEW ORLEANS, La. – Darren Sharper pleaded no contest Monday to drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles and pleaded guilty to sexual assault and attempted sexual assault in Arizona.
He received what is essentially a nine-year sentence to be served in a federal prison. Sharper is slated to make a similar plea deal Tuesday in Nevada.
His sentences will be served concurrently, meaning he will serve the longest one. Sharper is still facing charges in New Orleans, and last week District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said pleas were being worked out in all locations and that he expected Sharper in New Orleans within 30 days to enter a plea and be sentenced.
Sharper, appearing on a teleconference, was sentenced to nine years Monday morning in Arizona after pleading guilty to sexual assault and attempted sexual assault.
Hours later, Sharper entered a no contest plea in Los Angeles to six counts, including two of rape by use of drug, in connection with two other rape allegations from 2013 and 2014. Sharper will be sentenced in Los Angeles on July 15 but is expected to get 20 years as part of the plea deal. Of that time, Sharper would likely serve an additional nine years, based on California’s “good time” laws.
Sharper is not eligible for early release in Arizona, but will be credited for time served in Los Angeles, where he has been in jail without bail since Feb. 27, 2014.
“Sharper was facing life imprisonment in four states,” said Donald “Chick” Foret, an Eyewitness News legal analyst. “If he stays healthy, he will once again be a free man.”
Foret added that Sharper’s information he had provided to law enforcement is substantial and a reason for his light sentence.
“Darren Sharper got a very sweet deal today. The question now that everyone’s asking is, what did he do to get such a sweet deal?” Foret said.
Sharper is expected to plead guilty in Las Vegas rape cases Tuesday and faces up to eight years in prison there, the Clark County District Attorney confirmed, for allegedly sexually assaulting two women in January 2014. The sentences are part of a global plea.
A Skype arraignment in justice court is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 am. for the Las Vegas case. According to a Clark County district attorney spokeswoman, the case will then be bound up to district court to enter the plea. Sharper’s sentence in Las Vegas would run concurrent with other jurisdictions, as it is in Arizona.
In the Maricopa County courtroom Monday, the judge asked Sharper whether “…anything else was promised to you other than the fact that you will do your prison term under federal custody.”
At the end of the hearing, the judge surrendered Sharper to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to serve his time concurrently with any sentence not yet determined by the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Sharper is scheduled to appear at an arraignment in New Orleans before a federal magistrate on April 6. If he was to plead guilty at that time, the case would be moved to a district judge’s courtroom to take the plea in the afternoon. He’s charged with conspiracy to distribute a schedule IV controlled substance in federal court.
On Friday, Sharper’s attorneys said they had reached an agreement with prosecutors in each state. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro announced that the deal had been struck.
“Darren Sharper announced in open court that he had entered into a plea agreement with respect to pending charges in Louisiana as well as the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, and the United States of America,” said Cannizzaro. “Pursuant to the terms of the agreement negotiated between the defendant’s attorneys and Federal and state prosecutors, we expect that he will begin entering formal guilty pleas as soon as Monday and that he will be in Louisiana within the next 30 days to plead guilty to his pending state and Federal charges in New Orleans.”
Sharper was facing life in prison in New Orleans, where he was accused of raping three women in August and September 2013.
The cases against Sharper had similar themes. Often he would meet women in nightclubs, bringing them back to an apartment or hotel and then placing some type of drug into their drinks and rape them while they were either unconscious or semi-conscious.
The global plea agreement in all five cases was filed as a “global MOU” in court and placed under seal, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Our partners at The New Orleans Advocate are reporting that an unnamed source “close to the deal” confirmed Sharper will plead guilty to two counts of forcible rape and one count of simple rape, also in exchange for a 20-year sentence. He would also serve nine years of that in prison.