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Sharper to serve 20 years in prison for rapes

Former NFL player Darren Sharper (left) and his attorney Leonard B. Levine listen carefully to the details of a plea agreement in this March file photo. Sharper was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison, resolving a series of cases against him in multiple states. Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Former NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles, capping a case in which the athlete was accused of attacking more than a dozen women across the country.

Sharper was sentenced as part of a plea deal he reached last year — a “global resolution” that his attorneys said helped resolve sexual assault cases filed against him in multiple states.

“I can only imagine myself lying there like a vegetable while he took advantage of my body without my permission,” one of the victims said in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday. “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?’ ”

Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor noted the statements she and another victim gave as he sentenced the one-time Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers player.

“I daresay that I cannot speak more eloquently or passionately about the horrible misconduct of Mr. Sharper and the unfathomable effect he has had on the two alleged victims,” the judge said. “I think their individual statements speak volumes as to this disgraceful abuse of trust and the behavior of Mr. Sharper.”

After Los Angeles authorities arrested Sharper on suspicion of sexual assault in January 2014, women in other cities came forward, alleging similar attacks. The former New Orleans Saints safety has been convicted of drugging and raping nine women in Los Angeles, Nevada, Arizona and Louisiana.

In August, a federal judge in New Orleans sentenced him to more than 18 years for the attacks. The judge said a federal presentencing report indicated there were 16 victims.

The sentence in Los Angeles is to be served at the same time as others around the country.

Sharper, a five-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl winner who retired in 2011, went on to work as an analyst for the NFL Network until his arrest in Los Angeles.

He pleaded no contest in March 2015 to the Los Angeles charges accusing him of drugging and raping two women.