Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper due in New Orleans court on rape charges

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Shukriya Pakistan

NEW ORLEANS: Disgraced former NFL star Darren Sharper, who last month pleaded guilty or no contest to rape or attempted rape charges in three states, was set to be arraigned in a New Orleans courtroom on Tuesday on additional charges of drugging and raping two women.

Sharper, 39, last month pleaded guilty or no contest to charges in Arizona, California and Nevada as part of a series of plea bargains prosecutors have said will land him at least nine years in federal prison.

Local prosecutors in New Orleans have said Sharper has reached a plea deal to settle the Louisiana case, but it is not expected to add to the overall time he serves in prison.

The former football player appeared on Monday in federal court in New Orleans and entered a plea of not guilty to related charges of drugging women with intent to rape them, but that plea was a formality and could later be reversed, prosecutors said.

Sharper, a five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety who helped lead the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl victory in 2010, was charged in four states with raping his victims, women he met at various nightclubs, after taking them back to his hotel or apartment and spiking their drinks with a narcotic.

Sharper pleaded guilty to sexual assault in Arizona, attempted sexual assault there and in Nevada, and pleaded no contest to two counts of rape by use of drugs and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance in California.

All the plea bargains entered so far call for his sentences to be served concurrently in federal prison.

An attorney for Sharper declined to comment. -AFP

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