Sharper rape case co-defendants enter state guilty pleas

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The criminal case that exposed former NFL star Darren Sharper as a sexual predator has moved closer to resolution with guilty pleas in Louisiana state court by two co-defendants.

Court records show Erick Nunez pleaded guilty to sexual battery and Brandon Licciardi (lih-CHAR’-dee) pleaded guilty to human trafficking and rape. Thursday’s pleas from Sharper’s acquaintances comply with an agreement announced this month when they pleaded guilty to related federal charges.

Sharper had already pleaded guilty or no-contest in state and federal courts to charges related to allegations he drugged and raped as many as 16 women in four states. He faces up to 20 years in prison at his Aug. 18 federal sentencing.

Licciardi will serve 17 years and Nunez 10 years, if a federal judge approves their agreements in October.

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