A federal judge in New Orleans threw out the plea deal reached in the rape case against Darren Sharper, emphatically denying the nine-year sentence was appropriate punishment for allegedly assaulting as many as 16 women over multiple states.
Last March, Sharper reached a "global" plea agreement. U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo told Sharper, who appeared in the courtroom in his orange prison coveralls with his ankles shackled, "This court cannot accept this plea agreement."
Sharper could revert to a not guilty plea, with other jurisdictions likely to weigh in before he advances decisions in state courts in Arizona, Nevada and California.
Sharper was arrested on Jan. 17, 2014, on charges that he drugged and raped women. He also has been accused of sexually assaulting three women in New Orleans in 2013 and was indicted in Arizona on charges he drugged three women and sexually assaulted two of them in November 2013.
Sharper admitted sexually assaulting one victim in the Arizona case. Police had said Sharper drugged and sexually assaulted three women at an apartment in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe in November.
On Friday, Sharper was charged with rape in Las Vegas. The two sexual assault charges stem from allegations that he forced sex on two women in January 2014 while they were unconscious or otherwise unable to resist or consent.