Former NFL star Darren Sharper will spent the next 20 years behind bars for the drugging and rape of women in four different states.
The one-time Super Bowl champ and Pro-Bowler had entered a plea deal negotiated with prosecutors in those states, but he could serve more time if an appeals court upholds an 18-year sentence handed down by a New Orleans federal judge in August.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor denounced Sharper’s “horrible conduct” and “disgraceful abuse of trust” during the hearing that concluded prosecutions against him.
Two victims appeared in the courtroom and spoke about the incident that took place in January 2014, in which Sharper drugged them both and sexually assaulted one of them.
“I started vomiting, my head was pounding and I had trouble seeing clearly,” said one victim, who said her rape on Jan. 15, 2014 was “the worst night of my life.”
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe 2, teared up before she even addressed the court and dabbed at her nose with a tissue throughout. She said her surfing career spiraled downward afterward, she lost her self-confidence, lives in fear and at one point considered suicide.
“The only good thing about this situation is that this disgusting low-life human will be sent to prison for many years and is likely he will never be able to do to this to another woman again,” she said. “I hope this scumbag will now feel as worthless as he has made me feel.”
Sharper retired from the league in 2011 after a 14-year career with the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings and, finally, in New Orleans with the Saints, where he won a Super Bowl. He was an analyst with the NFL Network when women began to surface who all told stories of being at events with Sharper but wound up waking up in his hotel room and discovering they had been raped.
Lawyers for Sharper had vigorously disputed the charges before he abruptly gave up his defense in March 2015 on the eve of a preliminary hearing to decide if the Los Angeles case would go to trial.
From the Los Angeles courtroom, Sharper appeared by video-conferencing and pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting one woman and trying to attack another in suburban Phoenix in 2013.
An hour later, he pleaded no contest to drugging and raping two women he picked up at a West Hollywood bar on two occasions in late 2013 and early 2014.
The next day, he pleaded guilty via video to a reduced felony attempted sex assault charge for a Las Vegas case.
He later pleaded guilty in Louisiana to federal charges of drugging women so he could rape them and state charges to three counts of rape.
Image: Associated Press