Sports Football

Ex-NFLer Sharper pleads guilty in New Orleans to drugging women

Colleen Jenkins, REUTERS

Former National Football League star Darren Sharper (L) and his attorney Leonard Levine appear in court in Los Angeles, in this file photo taken March 23, 2015.  Sharper, who last month pleaded guilty or no contest to rape or attempted rape charges in three states, was set to be arraigned on April 7, 2015 in a New Orleans courtroom on additional charges of drugging and raping two women.  To match USA-NFL/SHARPER REUTERS/Nick Ut/Pool/Files

Former National Football League star Darren Sharper (L) and his attorney Leonard Levine appear in court in Los Angeles, in this file photo taken March 23, 2015. Sharper, who last month pleaded guilty or no contest to rape or attempted rape charges in three states, was set to be arraigned on April 7, 2015 in a New Orleans courtroom on additional charges of drugging and raping two women. To match USA-NFL/SHARPER REUTERS/Nick Ut/Pool/Files

Former NFL player Darren Sharper, accused of drugging and raping women in four states, pleaded guilty on Friday to related federal charges in New Orleans, prosecutors said.

Sharper, 39, already had pleaded guilty or no contest to rape or attempted rape in Arizona, California and Nevada as part of a series of plea agreements with prosecutors that call for him to serve about nine years in federal prison.

In Louisiana, the five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety admitted to distributing controlled substances to unsuspecting women and then having sex with them while they were incapacitated, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The three federal counts of drugging women with the intent to rape them each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Sharper is set to be sentenced on Aug. 20.

Authorities say Sharper met his female victims at various nightclubs and bars, then sexually assaulted them after taking them back to his hotel or apartment and spiking their drinks with a narcotic. He was arrested last year.

In March, he pleaded guilty to sexual assault and attempted sexual assault in Arizona and attempted sexual assault in Nevada. He pleaded no contest to two counts of rape by use of drugs and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance in California.

He was sentenced in the Arizona case to nine years in prison. The plea bargains call for his sentences to be served concurrently in federal prison.

He still has a separate pending case on state charges in New Orleans, where he was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting two women.

Sharper played 14 years in the NFL and helped lead the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl victory in 2010. He was a broadcaster for the NFL Network when the rape allegations surfaced.


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