Darren Sharper gets 18 years in prison for drugging, raping women

Darren Sharper, who played 14 NFL seasons for three teams, 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, the Associated Press reports.

Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced Sharper on Thursday. He had pleaded guilty or no-contest to charges arising from the allegations of drugging and raping women in federal court in New Orleans, and state courts in Louisiana, Arizona, California and Nevada. Prosecutors suggested a 9-year prison term for Sharper under a multi-jurisdictional plea deal, but Milazzo rejected it as too lenient in June.

Sharper was also fined $20,000.

According to the AP, before sentencing Sharper apologized "a thousand times" to the women he abused, adding that he had "lived my life right for 38 years and then I took this path."

According to a 15-page statement signed as part of the plea, Sharper pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of distributing drugs with rape as the aim. He or friend Brandon Licciardi, a former sheriff's deputy in Louisiana, put anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives into women's drinks in order to rape them.

Sharper was a second-round pick of the Packers in 1997, and he spent eight seasons in Green Bay before playing in Minnesota and New Orleans. In April 2014, while Sharper sat in a Los Angeles County jail, former teammates expressed shock at what they were hearing.

"I never would have seen this coming. It's mind-boggling," Tyrone Williams told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tyler Dunne at the time.

Former Packers safety LeRoy Butler added: "He was always very respectful. All my kids liked him, and I have four daughters. They knew him. They thought very highly of him. ... Girls would throw themselves at him. He had no problem getting women at all. Good-looking guy. Great player. Possible Hall of Famer. He had lots of money. He had great parents -- fantastic parents. This was a guy nobody would expect this kind of stuff from."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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