Tuesday April 7th, 2015

Former NFL safety Darren Sharper will be arraigned in a New Orleans courtroom on June 15 to answer charges of allegations that he drugged and raped three women, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Sharper was expected to plead guilty to two counts of aggravated rape one count of simple rape on Tuesday, but Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman delayed the case until June, citing the federal case against Sharper that must be resolved before his state case can continue.

Sharper pleaded not guilty to federal charges on Monday that he and another man distributed the drugs Xanax, Valium and Ambien with the intent to commit rape.

The not guilty plea is considered a formality, as he is expected to plead guilty later because felony guilty pleas can’t be accepted in a magistrate court during a defendant’s first appearance.

Sharper’s next scheduled appearance in New Orleans federal court is for a pretrial conference on May 21.

Sharper has been in jail since rape charges were filed in Los Angeles in 2014.

He has already pleaded guilty to state charges in Nevada and Arizona and no-contest in California as part of a global plea deal that will call for Sharper to spend the next nine years in prison.

Sharper played 14 seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Vikings and Saints. He was a five-time Pro Bowl defender and two-time first-team All-Pro selection. He was employed as an analyst for NFL Network before he was dismissed when the rape allegations surfaced.

- Scooby Axson

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