- Associated Press - Friday, July 15, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Latest on the trial of a co-defendant of former NFL star Darren Sharper in a drug and sexual assault case (all times local):

10 a.m.

The final defendant in the drug and sexual assault case against disgraced former NFL star Darren Sharper has entered a guilty plea.

Brandon Licciardi (lih-CHAR’-dee) pleaded guilty Friday to a conspiracy charge, averting a scheduled trial. Licciardi is a former New Orleans-area sheriff’s deputy. His plea deal calls for a 17-year prison sentence.

Earlier this week, former restaurant worker Erik Nunez pleaded guilty in the case in exchange for a possible 10-year sentence.

Those deals still have to be formally accepted by a federal judge.

Sharper, meanwhile, awaits formal sentencing. He could draw from 15 to 20 years after pleading guilty or no-contest in four states to charges arising from allegations that he drugged and raped as many as 16 women.

___

8 a.m.

The final co-defendant in the case against disgraced former NFL star Darren Sharper is due back in court.

After guilty pleas from Sharper and another co-defendant, former St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Licciardi (lih-CHAR’-dee) was left to face trial Friday on federal charges that he distributed drugs with the intent to commit rape.

After guilty or no-contest pleas in four states, Sharper once was expected to spend as little as nine years in prison under a multijurisdiction plea deal.

But U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected that sentence in February. Sharper faces a possible 15 to 20 years arising from allegations he drugged and raped as many as 16 women.

It’s unclear how much his cooperation in cases against his co-defendants will affect his sentencing in August.

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