It was a routine that charismatic athlete Darren Sharper had come to rely on, the Los Angeles Times reports: “Chat up a couple of women at a club. Show them that a TV personality and former NFL player can be down-to-earth and genuine. Convince the women that the night is young and there is more fun elsewhere. Ply them with drinks laced with sedatives that blacken their memories and incapacitate their bodies. Rape at least one of them.” More than a dozen accusers from across four states came forward in a case that would ultimately require him to be sentenced in five jurisdictions, one of which was a federal court.
The final sentence–20 years in prison–was handed down yesterday in a Los Angeles courtroom. Last year, Sharper pleaded guilty or no contest to drugging and raping nine women in multiple states, although a judge said a pre-sentencing report indicated there were as many as 16 victims. His deal with Los Angeles prosecutors includes serving half of his sentence, minus time already served. A new state law that increases parole chances for nonviolent criminals may also decrease the amount of time Sharper serves, as rape of an intoxicated person is not considered violent in California.