Former NFL player to plead guilty in sex crimes case

Louisiana sports fans may recall the career of Darren Sharper, who was a former safety for the Saints. Sharper, now 39 years of age, is making current headlines over multiple sex crimes charges, some of which originate in Louisiana. He is expected to plead guilty to some of those charges in a plea arrangement. The matter is complicated due to the fact that the charges against Sharper include four different states, as well as drug distribution charges at the federal level.

Prosecutors assert that Sharper made a practice of drugging various women before sexually assaulting them. These crimes are believed to have taken place over a period of six months between 2013 and 2014. In total, nine women are believed to have been assaulted in this manner. An incident in a fifth state was investigated, but charges were not filed due to insufficient evidence.

In an announcement by the Orleans Parish District Attorney, the public was told that Sharper will be entering a guilty plea as part of a deal that will encompass all of the state and federal charges from all jurisdictions. The full details of the plea deal have not yet been released, although the matter will soon be discussed in open court. As for the charges in Louisiana alone, Sharper faced two life sentences for three counts of rape.

As this sex crimes case illustrates, there are certain instances in which negotiating a plea deal is the best possible criminal defense option. Here, by entering a guilty plea to some of the charges against him, Sharper will avoid facing multiple charges in various jurisdictions, and the sentencing variations that could accompany convictions. It is important to note that in making the decision to enter into this plea agreement, Sharper's legal team would have carefully reviewed the evidence held against him and may have determined that the chances of multiple convictions was high.

Source: nola.com, "Darren Sharper taking plea deal to resolve rape cases in 4 states, Cannizzaro says", Ken Daley, March 25, 2015

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