Former NFL superstar Darren Sharper sentenced to 9 years, after pleading guilty to sexual assault

by Raheem Karim

Former NFL superstar Darren Sharper admitted to several counts of sexual assault and his punishment was swift and fierce.

USA TODAY is reporting that Sharper has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison stemming from a string of incidents where he was drugging his dates.

Sharper, 39, entered his pleas Monday in Arizona from Los Angeles, where he was expected to appear in court later in the day and enter a guilty plea in connection with two other rape allegations from 2013 and 2014.

The pleas are part of an attempted “global” plea agreement that could resolve all nine rape charges against him in four states. In addition to the charges in California and Arizona, he faces two rape charges in Las Vegas and three in New Orleans, where is expected to enter guilty pleas within the next month.

The sentences will run concurrently in federal prison, said Jerry Cobb of the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. 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.

By agreeing to the plea deal, Sharper, 39, avoids the risk of receiving an even worse punishment in the future and expensive litigation that could drag on indefinitely in four states. If convicted, he faced life in prison in Louisiana and more than 30 years in Los Angeles.

For prosecutors, the plea deal avoids the risk of going to trial, where juries might be influenced by Sharper’s fame and celebrity defense attorneys.

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