Ex-NFL safety Darren Sharper sentenced to 18 years in rape cases

Former NFL safety Darren Sharper was sentenced to 18 years for raping and drugging women.
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Former NFL safety Darren Sharper was sentenced to 18 years in prison Thursday for drugging and raping as many as 16 women in four states.

Sharper was also fined $20,000.

Sharper, 40, pleaded guilty in Louisiana state court last year to two counts of forcible rape for drugging and assaulting two women and one count of simple rape stemming from two separate incidents in August and September 2013 involving three women.

He also pleaded guilty last year in a New Orleans federal court to three counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs with the intent to commit rape after authorities say he and another man spiked women's drinks with anti-anxiety drugs so they could rape them.

An earlier multi-jurisdiction "global" plea deal, which would have called for Sharper to serve nine years in prison, was rejected in June by Judge Jane Triche Milazzo.

Further review: Inside police failure to stop Darren Sharper’s rape spree

Sharper has been in jail since February 2014 after being arrested in Los Angeles following the first rape allegations. Sharper has faced cases in Louisiana, Arizona, California and Nevada.

Sharper played 14 seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Vikings and Saints, making the Pro Bowl five times and being named a two-time first-team All-Pro. He was employed as an analyst for NFL Network before he was fired when the rape allegations surfaced.

Sharper's co-defendants in the case are expected to be sentenced in October.

- Scooby Axson