Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper sentenced to 20 years in prison for LA rapes

ByMarc Cota-Robles and ABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
EMBED <>More Videos

Former NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced to 20 years in prison after previously pleading no contest to drugging and raping two Los Angeles-area women.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Former NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced to 20 years behind bars and ordered to register for life as a sex offender on Tuesday for drugging and raping two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub.

Sharper, 41, will serve the time concurrently with a sentence handed down in Louisiana for similar crimes. He was given credit for 2,017 days already served.

After the sentencing, one of the victims said making eye contact with Sharper in court brought her closure.

"Obviously it's an emotional rollercoaster, and I'm very sad to what happened to myself and my friend, but it's anger, too," she said.

Officials stated Sharper raped as many as 16 women in California, Arizona, Louisiana and Nevada.

In March 2015, he pleaded no contest to two counts of rape by the use of a drug and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance. Under a plea deal, a count of possession of morphine and allegations about the rape were dismissed. He received similar agreements in Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana.

The L.A. charges come from two separate sexual assaults. The first was on Oct. 30, 2013, when Sharper invited two women from a West Hollywood nightclub to a party. Instead, he first stopped at his hotel room with the women and gave each one a drink with the sedative zolpidem.

One of the women said she woke up naked hours later while Sharper was sexually assaulting her, and the other woman woke up and "interrupted his actions," according to prosecutors.

One of the victims who testified on Tuesday, identified as Jane Doe 1, was emotional when she made her statement.

"I would have nightmares of him raping me or killing me. It got so bad, I couldn't sleep," she said. "Today, I stand here knowing Darren Sharper will never take something so precious from another woman again."

In the second incident on Jan. 14, 2014, Sharper met another pair of women at the same nightclub and same events from the first sexual assault took place. He invited two women to a party but instead took them to his hotel room, where he gave them drinks.

The women woke up hours later, and one said she believes she was sexually assaulted, according to details from the District Attorney's Office.

The case was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Sharper was a six-time All-Pro player, five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion during his career, which included stops with the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. The defense back retired from the NFL in 2011 and was working as an NFL network analyst.

Sharper became eligible for the National Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

Under California sentencing laws, prosecutors say Sharper could earn what's called "half time credit," serving just 10 years of his sentence, and could be eligible for parole in eight years under the recent passage of Proposition 57.

City News Service contributed to this report.