Los Angeles (AFP) – Super Bowl-winning former American football player Darren Sharper was jailed for 20 years by a judge in California on Tuesday in the final round of sentencing for a string of drug-rape crimes across several US states.
Sharper, 41, had already been handed jail terms in Louisiana, Nevada and Arizona for a string of similar cases in which he drugged unwitting female companions before raping them.
In the Los Angeles case, Sharper was convicted and sentenced for drugging four women he met on two separate occasions in a West Hollywood nightclub between October 2013 and January 2014.
Sharper, a member of the Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints team in 2010, lured the women back to his hotel room on the pretext of needing to collect something before drugging them with a drink spiked with a powerful sedative.
Two of his victims spoke before the court on Tuesday ahead of his sentencing.
“While I cannot remember fully what happened, I know that I was raped because the rape kit was positive for Darren Sharper’s DNA,” one of the victims told Judge Michael Pastor.
“Because I was drugged by him and incapacitated, I had no ability to consent to sexual contact with him and I did not consent. I can only imagine myself lying there like a vegetable while he took advantage of my body without my permission.
“What he did to me has left me feeling worthless and as if my life had no meaning.”
The woman said she had initially refused Sharper’s offer of a drink in his hotel room before relenting.
After consuming the drink she passed out between five and 10 minutes later, waking up the next morning with no recollection of the night before.
She said she was relieved that Sharper — “this disgusting lowlife” — was now facing a lengthy prison sentence.
“Because of the crimes that he has inflicted on me, I hope that this scumbag will now feel as worthless as he made me feel,” she said.
Judge Pastor said following the testimony from the women Sharper’s crimes had had an “unfathomable effect” on the women, lambasting the former athlete for a “disgraceful abuse of trust.”
Sharper had 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 in the Los Angeles case.
He also reached similar plea agreements with prosecutors in Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana, where he was jailed for 18 years.