Former Pro Football Player Hears Victim Impact Statements at Sentencing

December 20, 2016

Former NFL safety Darren Sharper made a court appearance recently to hear from some of the more than half a dozen female victims he was found guilty of drugging and raping in four different states, Louisiana, Arizona, California, and Nevada.

These women say that they’re haunted by thoughts of what Sharper did to them after he lured them to Los Angeles hotel rooms and rendered them unconscious by serving them drinks laced with Ambien. Two of the four California victims the serial rapist preyed upon in 2013 and 2014 gave emotional victim impact statements at Sharper’s final sentencing in his sex assault case that resulted in rape victims in four states.

“Because I was drugged by him and incapacitated, I had no ability to consent to sexual contact with him, and I did not consent,” one victim said as she wept. “I can only imagine myself lying there like a vegetable while he took advantage of my body without my permission.”

This victim told the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge that she felt despondent after being raped. She lost the drive for her career and tried to cope with the trauma, adding, “I even thought about suicide at one time because I felt so useless.”

A second woman also described meeting Sharper at a nightclub in West Hollywood in October 2013. She agreed to stop by Sharper’s hotel room under the assumption she was picking something up on the way to another location. Sharper served them drinks that caused them to black out. The victim said that when she sought help after being raped by Sharper, she visited the Santa Monica rape treatment center where a staffer already knew about Sharper.

“As the ladies at the center continued to talk with us about the night in question, one lady asked what his name was,” this victim explained. When she said Darren Sharper, the worker paused and didn’t blink, but replied, “You girls need to make a report right now.”

The victim added, “She had heard his name before. I had chills.”

“His actions (in the) matter were sophisticated, callous and displayed meditation,” reported the Los Angeles County Probation Department. “His willingness to sexually assault women using drugs for his own sexual pleasures indicates he is a significant threat to the victims and to the community.”

While imposing the sentence, Judge Michael Pastor lambasted Sharper for his “horrible misconduct” and “disgraceful abuse of trust.”

Sharper had negotiated a multi-state plea agreement requiring him to serve nine years behind bars. However, a federal judge in Louisiana tore up the agreement and sentenced him to 18 years in August of 2016. Public reaction to Sharper’s case was that the punishment was too lenient for such alleged crimes.

U.S. District Court Judge Jane Triche Milazzo of the Eastern District of Louisiana, said at his sentencing hearing there, “We can never ignore the damage you inflicted on those women and society at large.”

Sharper continued his serial raping even after he knew that one of the victims was speaking with state and federal investigators.

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

Sharper also faces sentencing for his crimes in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Sharper was originally charged in California with seven felony counts, including rape by drugs. In Louisiana, he was charged by with two counts of aggravated rape, and was later indicted on federal drug charges.

The attorney for two of the rape victims noted that both of her clients have civil lawsuits pending against Sharper.

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