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Sharper Back in NOLA to Enter a Plea

Darren Sharper had a sad homecoming to New Orleans today. After spending several nights in St. Tammany Parish prison, the former Saints star appeared in federal court blocks from the SuperDome wearing a different uniform: the orange jumpsuit of an inmate.


The disgraced footballer is in the midst of executing an elaborate plea deal in response to charges that he raped and drugged women in four different states. 


Today, Sharper plead “not guilty” in U.S. Magistrate Sally Shushan’s courtroom, but that status is expected to change shortly. Tomorrow (4.07), he is on the docket for an appearance in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.


The defendant has already appeared in courts in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Attorney Blair Berk said that a “global resolution” to settle all of the charges was been reached and a ten year concurrent sentence (including the one year already spent in a Los Angeles county jail) will be served. 


Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro confirmed that the former Saint is expected to enter a guilty plea in Louisiana.


In each of the cases, the footballer is accused of dosing women with “date rape drugs” and then sexually assaulting them.


In some of the jurisdictions including Louisiana, the alleged crimes carry potential life sentences.


In an earlier statement, Cannizzaro thanked the victims for their patience. "This plea constitutes a complete vindication of these victims as well as their truthfulness."


The retired NFL defensive back played with the Saints during the team's Super Bowl championship season in 2009 and in 2010. In 2009, he proved a key piece of the disruptive defense, hauling in nine interceptions and returning three for touchdowns. Sharper retired after the 2010 season, ending a 14-year NFL career. He went on to work as a TV analyst with the NFL Network, but lost that position when the charges surfaced.

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