Former NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles.
The sentence came as part of a plea deal that saw Sharper sentenced to 18 years in prison in Louisiana in August for drugging and raping up to 16 women in four states, including California and Louisiana, as well as Arizona and Nevada. Sharper will serve the sentences simultaneously.
Tuesday marked the end of Sharper’s sentencing hearings, but the emotional trauma he inflicted upon the victims of his sexual assaults lives on.
“I can only imagine myself lying there like a vegetable while he took advantage of my body without my permission,” one of the victims said at Tuesday’s hearing (via the Los Angeles Times). “I have lost every bit of self confidence I’ve ever had and am always in fear while alone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s day or night, I can see a guy and automatically in my head think, ‘What if this guy tries to rape me?’ ”
The victims’ statements made an impact on Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor, who said they “speak volumes as to this disgraceful abuse of trust and the behavior of Mr. Sharper.”
In police reports obtained by the L.A. Times last year, the victims outlined two similar sounding tales regarding how Sharper operated. Both victims said after meeting Sharper at a party, they opted to go to an after-party with him. However, along the way, the victims in the two separate instances said Sharper said he had to stop by his hotel room to pick something up. While there, the women said Sharper mixed drinks for them that knocked them unconscious. One of the victims told police she came to with Sharper on top of her having sex.
Sharper used a similar method to drug and rape women around the country, according to evidence presented at his Louisiana sentencing hearing in August. Sharper addressed his victims at that hearing, telling them he apologized “a thousand times” for his actions.
“I lived my life right for 38 years and then I took this path,” he said.
The victims at that hearing called Sharper “twisted,” with one commanding he “go to hell.”
Sharper, a former Super Bowl-winning NFL star safety who made five Pro Bowls in his 14-season career, worked as an on-air analyst for the NFL Network when his crimes came to light in 2014.