Former All-Pro safety Darren Sharper has been sentenced to 18 years in prison by a federal judge, after he was accused of drugging and raping as many as 16 women in four states.
Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, of the Eastern District of Louisiana, sentenced Sharper on Thursday, after he had pleaded guilty or no-contest to myriad charges, stemming from accusations that he had drugged and raped women in Louisiana, Nevada, California and Arizona; Sharper was facing cases in all four states as well as federal court.
Prosecutors had offered a 9-year prison term for Sharper, which would have accounted for all jurisdictions, but Triche Milazzo rejected the deal, saying in June that it was too lenient. The 18-year sentence she gave him on Thursday is 15 months short of the maximum he could have received.
Sharper was also fined $20,000.
Sharper will face further sentencing next week in Orleans Parish; he was sentenced to nine years in Arizona, which he will serve at the same time as his federal stay.
According to the New Orleans Advocate, in court on Thursday, one of Sharper’s victims told him to “go to hell” and said the arrogance and stupidity he showed in attacking so many women in such a short amount of time – the accusations span just five months, from Aug. 31, 2013 to Jan. 15, 2014 – made the case easy for authorities.
A sobbing Sharper apologized to his victims, saying, “They didn’t deserve anything being a part of my heinous decisions. I still don’t know why I lived my life right for 38 years, and then I took this path.”
The 40-year old Sharper, who played in the NFL for 14 seasons, with the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, was working as an analyst on NFL Network when women in different cities began telling authorities similar stories of meeting Sharper, having a drink with him, and then waking up groggy and having been sexually assaulted.
Though his charges in the four states involve nine victims, Triche Milazzo has said in court that there may be as many as 16 victims.
Sharper pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of distributing drugs with rape as the aim; according to a 15-page signed statement that it part of Sharper’s plea, it was he or his friend, former St. Bernard Parish (La.) sheriff’s deputy Brandon Licciardi, who put anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives into women’s drinks so they could rape them.
Licciardi and a second co-defendant in New Orleans, Erik Nunez, will be sentenced on Oct. 13. Both had admitted to distributing drugs with intent to rape. According to their plea deals, Licciardi has accepted a 17-year sentence, and Nunez a 10-year sentence.