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Dysart Willis

Darren Sharper pleads guilty to sexual assault charges

Last March, former NFL safety Darren Sharper was quickly removed from his position on the NFL Network amidst criminal charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted women in four states.  This March, Sharper is entering guilty pleas to criminal charges in California, Louisiana, Arizona and Nevada.

Specifically, he was accused of putting sleep medications and other drugs into women’s drinks that would temporarily incapacitate them; which would enable Sharper to sexually assault them. Sharper initially denied the accusations, but as evidence mounted, he was arrested and held on $1 million bail in California. 

Later, similar charges were filed in Arizona, and then in Louisiana as women came forward reporting similar experiences to the women who were assaulted in Los Angeles after Sharper met them in a West Hollywood nightclub.

In pleading to the Nevada charges, Sharper appeared by Internet feed from a Los Angeles courtroom. The plea agreement reached with prosecutors calls for him to serve a nine-year prison sentence, which reportedly will be served concurrently with the other sentences imposed in the California, Louisiana and Arizona cases.

The case exemplifies the need for a person accused of a sex crime to have experienced legal counsel. The charges filed against Sharper called for sentences of 20 years and more. Sharper had a 14 year career in the National Football League with the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. His arrest last year, and his sentencing now, comes at a time where the NFL is dealing with a number of public relations issues stemming from domestic violence.