Mar 20, 2015 4:47 PM
Attorney: Ex-NFL player Sharper plans to resolve rape cases
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) An attorney for former NFL player Darren Sharper told a Los Angeles judge on Friday that she's planning a resolution of the rape charges filed against Sharper in four states.
Attorney Blair Berk said Sharper would enter a plea Monday in two jurisdictions, including California, that would resolve sexual assault allegations also pending in New Orleans, Las Vegas and the Phoenix area.
Berk did not specify the plea or name the other jurisdiction, but court records in Arizona indicate a change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for Monday morning. A Los Angeles prosecutor told Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor that she agreed with the move.
The announcement came following a morning of closed-door meetings in chambers. Pastor set a hearing in Los Angeles for Monday at 10:30 a.m.
Earlier in the day, Sharper was charged with drugging and raping two tourists at a Las Vegas Strip hotel while they were unconscious. The account is similar to allegations made against Sharper in California, Louisiana and Arizona.
The Nevada charges showed that police and prosecutors are focusing on a pattern of drug-and-attack cases against the former NFL safety and TV analyst in Los Angeles, New Orleans and the Phoenix area.
Sharper's Las Vegas attorney, David Chesnoff, appeared Friday before a Las Vegas judge on two sexual assault charges accusing Sharper of having sex with two tourists in January 2014 while the women were incapable of resisting.
The allegations are that Sharper went club-hopping with the women and took them to his room at a Strip hotel, where he drugged and sexually assaulted them while they were unconscious, said Officer Larry Hadfield, a Las Vegas police spokesman.
Chesnoff declined to comment on the two Nevada charges, which each carry a possible sentence of 10 years to life in Nevada state prison.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Janiece Marshall set another court hearing for April 3.
Sharper, 39, is sought on a warrant in Las Vegas. But he has been jailed since Feb. 27, 2014, in Los Angeles, where he was due for a preliminary hearing Friday after pleading not guilty to drugging and raping two women in 2013.
The New Orleans charges allege that he sexually assaulted three women in 2013. The Arizona charges allege that he drugged three women and sexually assaulted two of them in November 2013 in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe.
New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro wrote in a statement that he expects Sharper will be sent to Louisiana within 30 days to plead guilty to federal and state charges filed there.
Cannizzario thanked victims in the cases for remaining involved despite personal attacks on their credibility. "This plea constitutes a complete vindication of these victims as well as their truthfulness," he wrote.
Sharper had a 14-year All-Pro career as a defensive safety with the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. He played in one Super Bowl with the Packers and was part of a championship season with the New Orleans Saints.
He retired after the 2010 season and was working as an analyst for the NFL Network before being fired when the rape allegations surfaced.
Associated Press writers Kevin McGill in New Orleans, Christopher Weber in Los Angeles and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.