Los Angeles prosecutors said the two local victims of former NFL star Darren Sharper are pleased with a plea deal reached Monday in which Sharper is expected to serve nine years in federal prison to resolve charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted women in four states.
Prosecutors told the judge that Sharper's two victims in Los Angeles chose to forgo their right to be heard in court. One may seek restitution from Sharper, they said.
On Monday, Sharper began fulfilling the requirements of the agreement by remotely entering guilty pleas to charges in Nevada and Arizona, agreeing to eight- and nine-year prison terms respectively. Sharper later appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where he pleaded no contest to charges of raping and drugging two women.
As part of the deal, Sharper will be sentenced to 20 years in prison for the Los Angeles crimes but will serve half of the sentence minus time already served -- amounting to about nine years in federal prison. All sentences will run concurrently.
Sharper will be extradited to Louisiana next month to resolve federal and state charges in New Orleans before returning to Los Angeles in July for sentencing.
The Super Bowl-winning safety has been jailed for more than a year amid investigation of accusations that he attacked women in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Tempe, Ariz. The plea agreement ends claims in all jurisdictions, allowing Sharper to avoid the risk of lengthier prison terms. In California, he faced more than three decades in prison.
In Louisiana, a possible life sentence loomed. Wearing a light blue pinstriped suit, Sharper remained composed throughout the hearing as Judge Michael Pastor explained the consequences of accepting the agreement.
Just before accepting his plea, Pastor asked Sharper: “Do you understand that this is a final answer?” “Yes sir,” Sharper replied quietly. Sharper's attorneys, Blair Berk and Leonard Levine, declined to comment. Deputy Dist. Attys. Michele Hanisee and Alison Meyers, who prosecuted the case, also declined to comment.
Sharper was first arrested in Los Angeles after several women told police detectives that they had been sexually assaulted after taking drinks from Sharper and blacking out, according to Los Angeles Police Department documents.
In one report, a woman told authorities that she met Sharper through a mutual friend at a Los Angeles hotel in October 2013. That night, she accompanied Sharper to his hotel room, where Sharper poured her a drink. She awoke the next morning naked and with Sharper on top of her, she told authorities. When she attempted to leave, Sharper “continued having sex with her,” the report said.