Judge rejects NFL star's rape sentence, saying it's too lenient

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A former Minnesota Vikings player has seen a plea deal he struck with the government for the drugging and rape of women across four states thrown out by a federal judge.

The Advocate reports U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected the nine-year prison sentence prosecutors and attorneys for Darren Sharper agreed to last year, saying it's too lenient given sentencing guidelines suggest a 15-20 year prison term.

This sentencing range, she said, is based on the number of women claiming they were victims of Sharper's spree of druggings and rapes across Arizona, Nevada, California and Louisiana while he worked as an NFL Network analyst, to which he pleaded guilty last year.

The Times-Picayune reports Sharper – a safety who played for the Vikings between 2005-2008 before moving to the New Orleans Saints, where he won a Super Bowl – pleaded guilty to assaulting nine women across the states.

However when making her decision, Milazzo was able to consider a pre-sentencing report that alleges Sharper may have had 16 victims between Jan. 2010 and May 2014.

Sharper's attorney asked the court for time to consider if Sharper wants to withdraw his guilty plea ahead of his planned sentencing on March 3, the newspaper notes.

The Associated Press reports Sharper ended his NFL career in 2011 and began working as an analyst when women began telling police in multiple cities they had blacked out while drinking with him, and woke up to find they had been sexually abused.

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