Former NFL star Darren Sharper sentenced to 18 years for drugging, raping women

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LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 23: Former NFL safety Darren Sharper (C) appears in court with his lawyers Lisa Wayne (L) and Leonard Levine at Los Angeles Superior Court March 23, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Sharper pleaded guilty to charges of sexually assaulting a woman in Arizona as part of a broader plea deal and was sentenced to nine years in federal prison. Sharper is facing charges in four states for allegedly drugging woman and sexually assaulting them. (Photo by Nick Ut-Pool/Getty Images)

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NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge has told former NFL star Darren Sharper that courts can’t ignore the damage he inflicted on women, and on society at large.

The judge in New Orleans spoke as she sentenced Sharper to 18 years and four months in prison. She had earlier rejected a nine-year sentence under a plea deal, saying it was too short.

Sharper pleaded guilty in federal court to drugging three women so he could rape them. He has also pleaded guilty or no contest in four states, where he’s accused of drugging and raping as many as 16 women.

Before he was sentenced, Sharper and one of the women made emotional statements. Sharper said he had lived “right” for 38 years — before he “took this path.” The woman said Sharper was so arrogant and “twisted” that he kept attacking women even after he knew that he was being investigated.

Sharper played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

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