Darren Sharper was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor who called the former NFL star’s actions a “disgraceful abuse of trust.” But the conditions of the plea deal negotiated for Sharper, who plead guilty or no contest to raping nine women across four states, may reduce the time he serves to as little as eight years.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
“His deal with Los Angeles prosecutors includes serving 50% of his sentence, minus time already served. A recently passed 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, Deputy Dist. Atty Alison Foster said.”
Because Sharper has already been behind bars for more than two years, that could make the time he now has to serve as little as eight years, “But he will probably serve more time if an appeals court upholds an 18-year prison sentence handed down by a New Orleans federal judge who rejected the deal as too lenient,” Yahoo! Sports reported. If the case had gone to trial, Sharper could’ve been looking at a 30-year prison sentence.
Sharper, 41, chose not to speak during sentencing yesterday, but two of his victims did.
“I can only imagine myself lying there like a vegetable while he took advantage of my body without my permission,” one woman said. “I have lost every bit of self-confidence I’ve ever had and am always in fear while alone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s day or night, I can see a guy and automatically in my head think, ‘What if this guy tries to rape me?’…I feel lost in this world.”
Another woman who said she suffered a bloody mouth and nose the night of the attack and continues to endure nightmares told the court:
“I’ve tried to remember and I can’t, not a thing. It’s the darkest moment in my life. It’s the moment when someone had complete control over me. I don’t know what happened to me, I don’t know what he did with me, I’ll never know.”
In addition to the sentence in Louisiana which he’s appealing and this latest ruling in Los Angeles, Sharper has also been sentenced in Arizona and Nevada. All sentences are to be served concurrently. As we reported in August, Sharper may have actually raped as many as 16 women.