The Latest: Judge to ex-NFL star: can't ignore damage

AP News
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Posted: Aug 18, 2016 1:40 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on sentencing for ex-NFL star Darren Sharper (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

The federal judge who more than doubled former NFL star Darren Sharper's prison sentence told him that courts cannot ignore the damage he inflicted on women and on society at large.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo (TREESH mil-AH-zoh) had rejected a multistate plea agreement's 9-year sentence as too short. She sentenced Sharper on Thursday to 18 years and four months, and a $20,000 fine.

Before handing down the sentence, the judge told him she could never understand "how you arrived at this place," since he is educated and obviously grew up "in one of the most loving households."

He pleaded guilty in federal court to drugging three women so he could rape them. He has also pleaded guilty or no contest in state courts in Louisiana, Arizona, California and Nevada. He's accused of drugging and raping as many as 16 women in those four states.

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10:45 a.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McMahon says he's satisfied with the prison sentence given to former NFL star Darren Sharper.

Federal prosecutors had accepted a multistate plea agreement calling for a 9-year sentence. But U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected it and more than doubled Sharper's sentence Thursday, to 18 years and four months. That was 15 months shy of the maximum sentence.

Defense attorney Billy Gibbens says that won't affect plea agreements with state courts in Louisiana, California, Arizona and Nevada.

Milazzo also ordered Sharper to serve three years of supervised release after he leaves prison.

McMahon and Gibbens say the plea agreement in Arizona calls for essentially a lifetime on probation after the end of the prison term there.

Sharper's family left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

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10:20 a.m.

Both former NFL star Darren Sharper and a woman he admitted drugging and raping both made emotional statements before Sharper was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.

Sharper's voice thickened and broke as he said he apologized "a thousand times" to the women he abused and to his family and friends. He said "I lived my life right for 38 years and then I took this path." Sharper said he's still trying to figure out why he did.

The woman said Sharper was so arrogant and "twisted" that he kept drugging and raping women even after he knew the attack on her was being investigated.

She said a mistake is something that happens once and is corrected, but it was a way of life for Sharper and his friends.

Her voice broke often during her long statement.

Her last words to him were: "Go to hell."

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10 a.m.

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. 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 9-year prison term for Sharper under a multi-jurisdictional plea deal, but Milazzo rejected it as too lenient in June.

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Former NFL star Darren Sharper has arrived in federal court in New Orleans for a sentencing hearing.

Sharper was wearing orange prison garb, and his hands and feet were shackled when he arrived Thursday morning.

Sharper is due for sentencing after pleading 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 had suggested a 9-year prison term for Sharper under a multi-jurisdictional plea deal, but Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected it as too lenient in June.