Darren Sharper sentenced to 20 years in prison…
LOS ANGELES — Former NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced Tuesday to a 20-year prison term in the same courthouse where he first admitted drugging and raping women in four states.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor denounced Sharper’s “horrible conduct” and “disgraceful abuse of trust” during the hearing that concluded prosecutions that unmasked the former All-Pro safety and Super Bowl champ as a serial rapist.
Under the terms of a plea deal negotiated with prosecutors in four states, Sharper will be eligible for parole in about eight years because California law requires he serve half his sentence and he has already been behind bars more than two years since his arrest. But he will probably serve more time if an appeals court upholds an 18-year prison sentence handed down by a New Orleans federal judge who rejected the deal as too lenient.
Sharper has appealed that harsher sentence.
Sharper, 41, sat quietly in court in orange jail scrubs and never addressed the court or two emotional victims who spoke about evenings that began innocently enough partying with friends but turned into nightmares they can no longer escape after he secretly slipped drugs into their shot glasses and insisted they drink. Both women blacked out and later awoke to the groggy reality that something had gone terribly wrong that they couldn’t immediately comprehend in their drug-induced daze.
“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, that she lost her self-confidence, lives in fear and at one point considered suicide.