Former NFL star Darren 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, reports the AP. 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 nine-year prison term for Sharper under a multi-jurisdictional plea deal, but Milazzo rejected it as too lenient in June. The sentence was 15 months short of the maximum. He was also fined $20,000.
Sharper pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of distributing drugs with rape as the aim. He or his friend Brandon Licciardi, a former sheriff's deputy, 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 that plea. Like Sharper, Licciardi and co-defendant Erik Nunez admitted distributing drugs with the intent to commit rape. Their plea agreements say Licciardi has accepted a 17-year sentence, with 10 years for Nunez. They are scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 13. Charges around the country involve nine victims, but Milazzo has said in court that there may be as many as 16.