Ex-NFL star Warren Sapp spared jail in Phoenix prostitution case

Reuters News
Posted: May 18, 2015 6:35 PM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Former National Football League star Warren Sapp will be spared jail time under two plea agreements related to his arrest for soliciting a prostitute and assault at a Phoenix hotel the morning after the Super Bowl, prosecutors said on Monday.

Sapp, a 42-year-old Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle, pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor charges and was ordered to complete two classes as part of a deal reached last month in Phoenix Municipal Court.

He has already completed a prostitution-related class and had that charge dismissed, and must now complete another course on anger management, said Loren Braud, a staff attorney for the city. Braud said a city judge would then dismiss the assault charge.

Sapp's attorney, Craig Mehrens, said the plea deals reached with prosecutors were “very reasonable” and that Sapp was embarrassed by the incident and “ready to move on.”

Sapp was in Phoenix to cover the Super Bowl as an analyst for the NFL Network when he was arrested following an apparent dispute over money with two women. He was fired by the network after the incident.

Police said one of the women told police officers working security at the hotel that Sapp assaulted her and another escort after the argument in a room.

The fight escalated and spilled into a hallway, police said, with both women suffering minor injuries.

Sapp denied assaulting the women at the time, but admitted that he engaged in an act of prostitution, police said.

One of the women was cited for prostitution and the other for violating the city's escort permit requirements.

Under the plea deal, court documents showed Sapp must pay one of the women $1,171 and the other one $150 stemming from the incident.

Sapp played 13 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

He had 96.5 sacks in his career and was the cornerstone of the defense that played a major part in the Buccaneers' Super Bowl win in 2003. He played college football at the University of Miami.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)