Judge to Ex-NFL star: Can't ignore the damage you inflicted

FILE - In this March 23, 2015, file photo, former NFL safety Darren Sharper, center, with his attorneys, Lisa Wayne, left, and Leonard Levine, right, appear in Los Angeles Superior Court. Sharper has been sentenced to 18 years in prison in a case where he was accused of drugging and raping as many as 16 women in four states. Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced Sharper on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, Pool, File)

NEW ORLEANS — Former NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced Thursday to more than 18 years in prison for drugging women in order to rape them — double the sentence recommended by prosecutors.

One of Sharper's victims — the only one to speak at his sentencing hearing — rebuffed his display of contrition.

"For the list of people you've done this to: Go to hell," she said. Her name was not given in court, and The Associated Press does not identify victims of sexual abuse by name.

The former New Orleans Saints safety, jailed since February 2014, apologized and appeared chastened by his fall from grace.

"I would like to apologize a thousand times," the 40-year-old Sharper said. Later, he said, looking down and sighing, "I'm still trying to figure out why I made some of these choices."

His voice quivered and choked with emotion when he apologized to his parents.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, in sentencing Sharper, told him she couldn't understand how he did what he did, since he was college educated and obviously had grown up "in one of the most loving households."

"We can never ignore the damage you inflicted on those women and society at large," she said.

Sharper had pleaded guilty in federal court in New Orleans to drugging three women so he could rape them. He also has pleaded guilty or no contest in state courts in Louisiana, Arizona, California and Nevada to charges arising from allegations of drugging and raping women.

Defense attorney Billy Gibbens asked for leniency because Sharper's testimony helped get "late" guilty pleas from two codefendants who will be sentenced in October.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McMahon told the judge, "I don't think Mr. Sharper has really wrapped his head around the fact that he is a serial rapist."

Meanwhile, the tearful victim told Sharper that because of arrogance and "clear stupidity," he kept drugging and raping women even after he knew she was talking to state and federal investigators.

"Within days ... you gave me ... and the entire judicial system in Louisiana the big middle finger because you thought we weren't capable of stopping you," she said. "You continued to rape other women in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas."

She said she understands that people make mistakes. "But it wasn't a mistake. A mistake happens once and you never make it again." Rather, she said, it was "a way of life for you and your friends."

Prosecutors suggested a 9-year prison term for Sharper under a multi-jurisdictional plea deal, but Milazzo rejected it in June as too lenient. The sentence she imposed, 18 years and four months imprisonment, was 15 months short of the maximum. Sharper also was fined $20,000. His sentence will run concurrently with any state sentence.

The judge said he will be on three years' supervised release after he gets out of prison, including "sex treatment conditions" and registration as a sex offender.

Sharper or his friend Brandon Licciardi, a former sheriff's deputy in neighboring St. Bernard Parish, put anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives into women's drinks so they could rape them, according to a 15-page statement signed as part of Sharper's plea agreement.

Milazzo has scheduled sentencing Oct. 13 for Licciardi and a second New Orleans codefendant, Erik Nunez.

Charges around the country involve nine victims, but Milazzo has said in court that there may be as many as 16.

Sharper was named All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times during a career that included stints with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and one with New Orleans Saints when they won in 2010.

He ended a 14-year career in 2011. He was working as an NFL network analyst when women began telling police in several cities similar stories of blacking out while drinking with him and waking up groggy to find they had been sexually abused.

You may also interested in

Taking stock: NBC learning about changed viewer...

Aug 19, 2016

NBC says it hopes to take lessons from how some of its tech-savvy consumers are experiencing the...

Naquin's inside-the-park homer lifts Indians over...

Aug 20, 2016

Cleveland's Tyler Naquin hit a game-ending inside-the-park homer, sprinting around the bases to cap...

Penske drivers Pagenaud and Power feeling no ill...

Aug 20, 2016

Penske drivers Pagenaud and Power feeling no ill will as they chase a championship

Sandusky appeal focuses on Victim 2's conflicting...

Aug 22, 2016

Jerry Sandusky's lawyers are focusing on conflicting statements from a man who settled a child sex...

Kobe Bryant starts $100 million investment fund

Aug 22, 2016

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant is moving to Wall Street, announcing the formation of a $100 million...

People also read these

Brady ready after 'silly accident' with scissors...

Aug 23, 2016

Tom Brady says he is doing well and ready after a "silly accident" in which he accidentally cut his...

AP NewsBreak: Feds want to ban swimming with...

Aug 24, 2016

Federal regulators are proposing a ban on swimming with dolphins in Hawaii

Swimmer Feigen apologizes for 'serious...

Aug 24, 2016

U.S. swimmer James Feigen apologized for the "serious distraction" he and three teammates caused at...

Dynamic doubles duo: Federer, Nadal to team up in...

Aug 24, 2016

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal say they plan to play doubles together when the Laver Cup debuts...

Michael Phelps, Final Five gymnasts to present at...

Aug 25, 2016

Recent Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and the Final Five are heading to the MTV Video Music...

About Us

The Final Scoreboard has fast, accurate live scores for you. We provide premium online content from in-depth analysis to the scores and statistics across American and European Sports.

Contact us: sales@thefinalscoreboa.com

Subscribe Now!