Darren Sharper rape case co-defendants head to federal court

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Co-defendants of former NFL star Darren Sharper in Louisiana sexual assault cases are heading to federal court to ask that their cases be prosecuted separately.

Erik Nunez and former St. Bernard Parish sheriff's deputy Brandon Licciardi (lih-CHAR'-ee) are the remaining defendants in state and federal cases in which Sharper has pleaded guilty. Nunez is accused of obstructing the federal case; Licciardi is accused of distributing drugs to women with the intent to rape them and with witness tampering.

Nunez and Licciardi both have filed motions to have their cases heard separately. A hearing is set for Tuesday.

Sharper, meanwhile, has pleaded guilty in four states to charges arising from allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted women. He's expected to spend roughly nine years in prison.