Journalism in the Public Interest

Sharper’s Plea Includes Lifetime Probation, No Alcohol, Penile Device

Former NFL star Darren Sharper has agreed to plead guilty to rape and attempted rape charges. The New Orleans Advocate gets the details of the deal.

Darren Sharper and his attorney Leonard Levine listen to the details of a plea in Los Angeles Superior Court in March. (Mark Boster/LA Times via Getty Images)

Darren Sharper, former NFL football player and New Orleans Saints safety, has agreed to plead guilty or no contest to raping or attempting to rape nine women in four states. It was a rampage that could have been prevented, according to a recently published joint investigation by ProPublica and The New Orleans Advocate. Police didn't take recommended steps, such as contacting other law enforcement agencies to check on Sharper's history.

Now, our partners at The New Orleans Advocate have an exclusive account of the details of the plea agreement, under which Sharper will serve as few as nine years of a 20-year sentence. He had been facing life in prison.

Sharper's post-prison life will be anything but easy, however. Among the terms of his probation: He may have to wear a so-called "penile plethysmograph" — a kind of polygraph for the penis that he would wear to monitor his response to images of coercive and non-coercive sex acts. Medical experts are critical of the device, but Sharper has agreed to subject himself to the tests.

Other parts of the plea deal: He gets probation for life. He will have to register as a sex offender. He can never drink alcohol again. And he can never use the Internet to pick up women.

"There will never be a time he will be finished," one person familiar with the deal told the Advocate.

Full details here.

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