Trial set for co-defendants in NFL star sexual assault case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) A co-defendant in the drug and sexual assault case that brought down former NFL star Darren Sharper entered a plea agreement Monday, leaving one other man to face trial.

The agreement involving former restaurant worker Erik Nunez was confirmed by his defense attorney, Herbert Larson. The agreement had not been posted in court records by midday.

With Nunez out of the courtroom, jury selection began for the lone remaining defendant, former St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Licciardi. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Friday in a trial expected to feature Sharper as a star witness.

The federal case involved allegations that Licciardi, Nunez and Sharper gave drugs to women with the intent to rape them. Licciardi has pleaded not guilty.

Sharper has pleaded guilty or no contest to charges arising from allegations that he drugged and raped women in Arizona, Nevada, California and Louisiana. He faces a possible 15 to 20 years in prison.

Louisiana is the only state where others were charged in the case. The three were charged in state and federal courts.

Sharper once was expected to spend as little as nine years in prison under a multi-jurisdictional plea deal announced after his arrest in early 2015. But U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected that sentence as too light in February.

Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times during a career that included stints with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and one with New Orleans Saints when they won in 2010.

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