- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Two weeks after a federal judge rejected a plea dealt that included a nine-year prison sentence, former NFL star Darren Sharper has made a new plea deal with federal prosecutors in a drug and sexual assault case.

The new deal was acknowledged in a federal court filing Wednesday. The document gave no details.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo on Feb. 18 rejected the nine-year sentence as too light and noted sentencing guidelines calling for a sentence in the range of 15 to 20 years.

Sharper, however, might still be able to reduce that by cooperating in the case against two co-defendants. He was set for sentencing Thursday but attorneys on both sides agreed to a delay in that hearing until after a scheduled May 16 trial, “so that the Court can evaluate his full cooperation in connection with sentencing.”

In addition to his federal guilty plea, Sharper has pleaded guilty or no-contest in state courts to charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted women in Arizona, California, and Louisiana - all part of a multistate “global” plea deal announced last year.

Those charges involve nine victims, but Milazzo said in court that there may be as many as 16.

Sharper has been sentenced to nine years in Arizona but still awaits formal sentencing in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and in state and federal courts in New Orleans.

Sharper’s attorneys did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

Still set for trial May 16: Brandon Licciardi, a former sheriff’s deputy in the New Orleans suburb of St. Bernard Parish, and Erik Nunez.

Licciardi and Nunez both face charges involving distribution of drugs with the intent to commit rape. Licciardi also is charged with witness tampering and Nunez is charged with damaging a cellphone that is considered evidence in the case.

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