Former NFL safety Darren Sharper, who is accused of drugging and raping two women he met at Bootsy Bellows, the West Hollywood nightclub, has struck a plea deal aimed at resolving all cases against him in four states, attorneys announced today.
Defense attorney Blair Berk said Sharper will enter a “global resolution” of all pending cases. Sharper is facing similar allegations of drugging and raping women in four jurisdictions. Sharper is due back in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday to enter a plea. He is expected to enter separate pleas during that hearing in the West Hollywood case and the New Orleans case, and the plea agreement will resolve charges in all four jurisdictions.
Berk and prosecutors declined to provide specifics about the plea agreement or what penalties the 39-year-old Super Bowl winner and former TV analyst might face. In addition to the West Hollywood and New Orleans cases, Sharper is facing similar allegations in Las Vegas and Tempe, Arizona. The announcement of the plea deal came after a tense morning of behind- the-scenes meetings between Los Angeles prosecutors, defense attorneys, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor and Sharper, who was kept in a holding cell next to the seventh-floor downtown courtroom.
Before Berk told the judge on the record that Sharper would enter a plea, the former professional athlete — dressed in a suit, tie, white socks and running shoes — was brought into the courtroom for a final huddle with his attorneys. “It has been a long morning, to say the least,” Pastor said from the bench, adding that much of the previous 2 1/2 hours were spent “discussing various aspects of the case.”
At that point, Berk told the court that the defendant and prosecutors “have reached a global resolution of all pending cases” against Sharper. The most recent case against him is in Las Vegas, where he faces two sexual assault charges for allegedly having sex with two tourists in January 2014 while the women were incapacitated. It is alleged that after Sharper went club-hopping with the women, he took them to his hotel room, where he drugged and sexually assaulted them while they were unconscious. The account is similar to allegations made against him in Los Angeles and two other cities. Sharper pleaded not guilty to drugging and raping two women in West Hollywood two years ago.
He also faces charges alleging that he sexually assaulted three women in 2013 in New Orleans. In Arizona, he is charged with drugging three women and sexually assaulting two of them in November 2013 in the suburb of Tempe. A member of the league’s 2000s All-Decade Team and a five-time Pro Bowl selection, Sharper was suspended from his job as an analyst with the NFL Network following his initial arrest. Sharper played for the Green Bay Packers in 1997-2004, the Minnesota Vikings in 2005-2008 and the New Orleans Saints in 2009-2010. He was on the Saints team that won Super Bowl XLIV in February 2010. He has been jailed since February 2014 in Los Angeles.