Darren Sharper pleads guilty to rape and drug charges in New Orleans

Darren Sharper pleads guilty to rape and drug charges in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Darren Sharper pleaded guilty to rape and drug charges in federal court in New Orleans Friday morning. The plea deal includes a nine year prison sentence.

The former Saints start was expected to change his plea to guilty. The move is the next step in a multijurisdictional deal that will help him avoid a life sentence.

Sharper pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute alprazolam, diazepam and zolpidem with intent to commit rape and two counts of distributing these substances with intent to commit rape.

In court documents filed during the guilty pleas, Sharper admitted that he and others distributed controlled substances to unsuspecting women and then had sexual relations with them while they were incapacitated. He also admitted that he conspired with others in committing the offenses.

Sharper already pleaded guilty or no contest to charges that he drugged women with the intent to commit rape in California, Arizona and Nevada.

Sharper was in state court in New Orleans a couple months ago. The resolution of those charges was delayed.

Details of the agreements in other states are under seal until Sharper is sentenced in all of his cases. He has only been sentenced in Arizona.

Former St Bernard sheriff's deputy Brandon Licciardi is awaiting trial on the same charges as well as charges of witness tampering and impeding an official proceeding.

Judge Jane Triche Milazzo will wait to accept Sharper's federal plea deal until she gets a pre-sentence report. Another hearing has been scheduled for August. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20.

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