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Darren Sharper enters multiple guilty pleas

Former All-Pro safety Darren Sharper will be spending almost the next decade of his life in prison; as a result of guilty plea agreements reached with prosecutors in multiple states. Last March, Sharper was arrested and charged with sexual assault and drug possession charges stemming from an incident where he reportedly met two women in a West Hollywood nightclub and later having sex with them after drugging their drinks.

He initially pled not guilty to the charges, but evidence began to mount; including additional accusations of similar actions in Arizona, Louisiana and Nevada. As these allegations developed, Sharper was held on $1 million bail in Los Angeles, and began to face charges that would call for at least 20 year in prison.

It remains to be seen what additional evidence came to light, but Sharper’s attorneys and prosecutors reached a plea agreement where Sharper would spend nine years in prison on the California charges. He recently pled guilty to the Nevada charges, and is expected to do the same for the Arizona and Louisiana charges as well. With the guilty pleas, it is reported that he will serve all sentences concurrently.

The guilty pleas are also indicative of the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney when charged with a sex crime (or multiple crimes). Sex crimes have a particular social stigma in our society, where the accused may have to prove their innocence instead of the state proving their guilt. This raises the importance of having experienced legal counsel so that the accused can make an informed decision about the course of their case. 

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