Judge rejects Darren Sharper’s bid to throw out plea deal, 18-year prison sentence

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Former NFL safety Darren Sharper received an 18-year sentence in 2016 after pleading guilty to sexual assault charges in New Orleans, but filed a motion last year asking that the plea deal be overturned because he was not adequately advised of the ramifications of the deal by his attorneys.

Sharper agreed to a deal offered by federal prosecutors that would cover charges in four state courts that he drugged and assaulted women. The deal originally called for a nine-year sentence, but that was rejected by a judge and Sharper was sentenced to twice that amount of time behind bars.

That change led Sharper to claim his attorneys left him in a position where he had to maintain the guilty plea in order to avoid state prosecutions that could use admissions from his previous plea against him. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected his claim.

Milazzo wrote that Sharper was represented by “highly experienced and well respected” attorneys and that he said multiple times in court that he understood the terms of his agreement.

“The record shows that Sharper knew the terms of his plea agreement and that his attorneys worked closely with him in counseling him throughout his case,” Milazzo wrote, via NOLA.com.

Sharper, who played for the Packers, Vikings and Saints, is imprisoned at a federal prison in Otisville, N.Y.