Ex-NFL Star Darren Sharper Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison

Former NFL safety Darren Sharper in a Los Angeles Superior courtroom Feb. 20, 2014
Bob Chamberlin-Pool/Getty Images

Facing rape charges in Arizona, California and two other states, former NFL all-pro safety Darren Sharper took a deal that will see him serve nine years in a California federal prison. According to ESPN, Sharper could have gotten 33 years for the California charges alone, which involved allegedly drugging and raping two women after meeting them in a West Hollywood bar on separate occasions in 2013 and 2014. But he pleaded no contest to the charges and negotiated a reduced sentence that includes time served for the year he has spent in jail.

Sharper pleaded guilty to similar crimes in Arizona, appearing by video link in a Phoenix courtroom to admit that he sexually assaulted one woman and tried to rape another. He's facing a total of nine rape charges in four states, including Nevada and Louisiana.

All of the crimes have similar circumstances: The women claim that they were drugged and then assaulted. When Sharper was arrested in 2014, he was carring a sedative called zolpidem. Authorities believe that the drug, for which he had a prescription, was slipped into alcoholic beverages that left the women unconscious and unable to resist, according to USA Today.

Sharper is expected to appear in Nevada and Louisiana courtrooms by video link over the next few months to enter pleas in those cases.

In 2010 as a member of the New Orleans Saints, Sharper won a Super Bowl championship. After retiring in 2011, he worked as an analyst for the NFL Network. The first rape charge dates back to August 2013.

Read more at ESPN and USA Today.

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