Louisiana Judge Sentences Ex-NFL Star Darren Sharper to 18 Years in Prison for Drugging, Raping Women

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Flanked by attorneys Leonard Levine, left, and Blair Berk, former NFL player Darren Sharper made his first court appearance in Los Angeles last week on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting women he allegedly met at a West Hollywood nightclub. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

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Retired NFL star Darren Sharper, convicted of drugging and raping nine women in Los Angeles, Nevada, Arizona and Louisiana, was sentenced to 18 years in prison Thursday by a federal judge in New Orleans.

Sharper, 41, had previously pleaded guilty or no contest to drugging and sexually assaulting nine women, although a judge said Thursday that he had as many as 16 victims. Sharper had initially struck a plea deal in which he would have served nine years in prison, but the judge in New Orleans rejected the deal earlier this year, saying the sentence failed to reflect the seriousness of the assaults,

“We can never ignore the damage you inflicted on those women and society at large,” U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo said Thursday. In addition to prison time, Sharper was fined $20,000.

The former football player was first arrested in Los Angeles on Jan, 17, 2014, on suspicion of sexual assault. After that, women in other cities came forward and alleged they were victims of similar attacks.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com. 

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