NFL: Darren Sharper jailed for nine years

Former NFL star Darren Sharper has been jailed for nine years.

The former Saints safety could spend up to 20 years in prison after admitting to drugging and raping women in four states as part of a plea-bargain deal.

Former all-pro safety Sharper, who won the Super Bowl with New Orleans Saints in 2010, has pleaded guilty to sexual assault in Arizona, and no contest – in effect a guilty plea – to further charges in California to raping two women he drugged with a sedative mixed with alcohol.


Darren Sharper (centre) appears in court along with his attorneys Blair Berk (right) and Leonard Levine (left)
Darren Sharper (centre) appears in court


He is set to make a similar plea to charges in Nevada and Louisiana. His defence lawyers had previously contested the charges, insisting that sex was consensual.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said the five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety was expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison under the terms of his plea deal.

He was sentenced to nine years in the Arizona case and will face 20 years in the California case when he is sentenced on July 15.

Hearings follow in Las Vegas on Tuesday and in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the next four weeks. In each state, he is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women when they were unconscious or otherwise unable to resist or consent.

The California charges stem from two occasions in autumn 2013 and early 2014 in which Sharper was accused of picking up two women from a nightclub, spiking their drinks and assaulting one of the women in each case after bringing them back to a hotel room.

Christopher Bowman, assistant district attorney for Orleans Parish, said Sharper had reached a plea deal with prosecutors to settle the Louisiana case, but he could not divulge the details.

Sharper played for the Saints, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings during a 14-year NFL career that ended after the 2010 season. He worked as an on-air analyst for the NFL Network until his arrest in Los Angeles.