Darren Sharper, Former NFL Star, Handed 20 Years In Drug-Rape Case

By McCarton Ackerman 12/02/16

Sharper was already serving an 18-year sentence in Louisiana when the new term was handed down. 

Darren Sharper, Former NFL Star, Handed Additional 20 Years In Drug-Rape Case
Darren Sharper Photo via YouTube

The shocking fall of a disgraced Super Bowl champion continues to hit new lows as Darren Sharper, formerly of the New Orleans Saints, was hit with a 20-year prison sentence for drugging and raping two women, bringing the total number to up to 16 across four states.

Sharper had previously pleaded no contest in March 2015 to two counts of rape by the use of a drug and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance. The Los Angeles Daily News reported that LA Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor ordered Sharper to submit to HIV testing and register as a sex offender for life. 

The 41-year-old must serve at least half of his 20-year term, but was given credit for 2,017 days he has spent behind bars. Sharper was already serving a roughly 18-year prison term for similar crimes committed in Louisiana, with additional prison sentences being handed down in Nevada and Arizona.

“Were it not for the courage of all of the victims who reported Mr. Sharper’s crimes against them to law enforcement, Mr. Sharper would be free to continue drugging and raping women,” said attorney Gloria Allred, who filed civil lawsuits on behalf of both women. “This case should send a message to all predators that even if you are a celebrity sports figure, you are not above the law. Women will not be intimidated by your wealth, fame or power. Instead they will stand up and fight back.”

Sharper met the two women at a West Hollywood nightclub in October 2013 and brought them back to his hotel room. He gave each of them a drink roofied with the powerful sedative Ambien. Prosecutors said one of the women woke up hours later as the football player was sexually assaulting her, while the other one eventually woke up and “interrupted his actions.” 

A nearly identical incident involving two more women at the same nightclub took place in January 2014. The District Attorney’s office said one of the women believed she had been sexually assaulted after taking shots in Sharper's hotel room and waking up hours later.

Deputy District Attorney Alison Foster noted that “all four victims were drugged based on the evidence we had and we know from the evidence we collected that two of those victims were sexually assaulted by Mr. Sharper.”

Sharper apologized in August, before receiving his initial 18-year sentence in Louisiana. He told the court that "I'm still trying to figure out why I made some of these choices … I lived my life right for 38 years, then I took this path."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.