PHOENIX, March 23 (UPI) -- Super Bowl champion and former NFL star defensive back Darren Sharper was sentenced to federal prison Monday as part of major rape cases against him that stem from incidents in multiple states.
The Maricopa County Attorneys Office confirmed Monday that Sharper pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault in relation to an incident in Arizona in November 2013, in return for having three counts of administration of dangerous drugs dropped. The judge sentenced Sharper to nine years in federal prison, to be served concurrently with any sentence stemming from separate federal charges.
Sharper, 39, was sentenced remotely because he was in California preparing to enter pleas in a Los Angeles courtroom for two other rape cases there.
In all, Sharper faces nine rape-related charges in four states -- Arizona, California, Nevada and Louisiana.
USA Today reports Monday's guilty plea is part of a plea agreement that will settle all of the rape charges against him.
Sharper still has to appear at similar hearings in Las Vegas and New Orleans. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Monday that Sharper has agreed to plead guilty there in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence, and will plead guilty for an 8-year term in Las Vegas.
The sentences will run concurrently and Sharper will be credited with time already served in Los Angeles, where he has been held without bail since February 2014. The deal will also reportedly allow Sharper to avoid potentially harsher punishment in the future.
Authorities say Sharper was a serial rapist who would slip prescription sleep aids into victims' drinks. At the time of his arrest, police say, he had 20 generic Ambien tablets in his possession.
Prosecutors said the sexual assaults occurred after Sharper retired from the NFL in 2011. After his playing career, Sharper served for a time as an analyst for NFL Network.
Sharper was selected to five Pro Bowl teams in a 14-year NFL career between 1997 and 2010, and was selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2000s. He won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints after the 2009 season and also played for the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.