March 24, 2015 / 7:54 PM / 3 years ago

Ex-NFL star Sharper pleads guilty to attempted sex assault in Nevada

Former National Football League star Darren Sharper (L) and his attorney Leonard Levine appear at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Nick Ut/Pool

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former NFL star Darren Sharper admitted on Tuesday to attempted sexual assault of two women in Las Vegas as part of a three-part plea bargain that prosecutors in Nevada, Arizona and California said would keep him in prison for at least nine years.

Sharper, 39, entered no contest or guilty pleas to separate sex-crimes cases in Los Angeles and suburban Phoenix on Monday, and has a fourth deal pending with prosecutors in New Orleans, the city whose NFL team he helped lead to a Super Bowl victory in 2010.

In all four states, the five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety was charged 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.

He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a single count of attempted sexual assault against two of his accusers in Nevada and will be sentenced there on June 25, said Tess Driver, a spokeswoman for the Clark County district attorney.

She said prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed to a prison term of three to eight years, though either side can back out of the deal if a judge rejects that sentencing range. If approved, the sentence will run concurrently with overlapping terms for the Arizona and California cases.

On Monday, Sharper pleaded guilty to one count each of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault in Arizona and was sentenced immediately to nine years in prison by a judge there.

Both the Arizona and Nevada pleas were entered via video hookup from Los Angeles, where Sharper, jailed since his 2014 arrest, pleaded no contest to charges of drugging four women and raping two of them.

The California plea bargain stipulates a 20-year sentence, far longer than the penalties he faced in Arizona or Nevada.

But Sharper would gain nearly a year’s credit for time already spent in custody and would be eligible for parole after serving half his term, meaning he could complete is California sentence in as little as nine years.

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

Sharper also has been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting two women in New Orleans. Prosecutors there say he has reached a plea deal to settle that case, but it is not expected to add to the overall time he serves in prison.

(This story corrects date for Nevada sentencing to June 25 from July 25, in the fourth paragraph)

Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech

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