Darren Sharper pleads not guilty to drug and rape charges; guilt - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Darren Sharper pleads not guilty to drug and rape charges; guilty plea expected at later date

(AP Photo/Nick Ut, Pool) (AP Photo/Nick Ut, Pool)

Former New Orleans Saints player Darren Sharper appeared in a New Orleans courtroom Monday for the first time. He pleaded not guilty to rape and drug charges.

The plea is just a formality. Sharper is expected to change his plea at a later date.

He pleaded guilty on March 24 in Las Vegas to a felony attempted sex assault charge. It was part of a four state plea deal that will land Sharper in federal prison for almost nine years.

The day before his Las Vegas plea, the 39-year-old pleaded guilty to sexual assault in Arizona and no contest in Los Angeles to raping two women he drugged after meeting them in a club.

Sharper, his alleged accomplice, Erik Nunez, and former St. Bernard Parish Sgt. Brandon Licciardi were indicted in Louisiana in December. Sharper and Nunez face rape charges and other charges related to the alleged crimes. Licciardi was charged with three counts of human trafficking, rape and battery.

Sharper will appear in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Tuesday on charges of aggravated rape.

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