U.S. prosecutors urge appeals court to reject Darren Sharper appeal

NEW ORLEANS -- U.S. prosecutors are urging an appeals court to dismiss an effort by former NFL star Darren Sharper to shorten a nearly two-decade prison sentence for drugging and raping women.

In a brief filed Friday in New Orleans, prosecutors say Sharper knew the consequences of the guilty plea that led to last year's sentence of 18 years and four months. They say the former New Orleans Saints player waived his right to appeal.

They also dispute arguments that he was coerced and that a U.S. judge failed to adequately explain the consequences of his plea.

Sharper pleaded guilty or no-contest in four states to charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted women. He maintained the pleas even after U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected a proposed nine-year sentence as too light.