Darren Sharper

Former NFL player Darren Sharper has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for allegedly drugging and raping as many as 16 women in four states.

According to the Associated Press, the 40-year-old had pleaded guilty or no-contest to charges 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 Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected it as too lenient in June. She then handed down an 18-year sentence on Thursday (Aug. 18) in New Orleans, 15 months short of the maximum, as well as a $20,000 fine.

Sharper had also pleaded guilty to three counts of distributing drugs with rape as the aim. A 15-page statement signed as part of that plea said he or his friend Brandon Licciardi, a former sheriff’s deputy in neighboring St. Bernard Parish, put anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives into women’s drinks so they could rape them.

He was originally arrested back in January 2014 on suspicion of rape in West Los Angeles, prompting an investigation that led to a number of rapes across multiple states.

Licciardi is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 13, along with a second New Orleans codefendant, Erik Nunez. In their plea agreements, Licciardi has accepted a 17-year sentence, with 10 years for Nunez.

Sharper played in the NFL for 14 years, during which he was named All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and one with New Orleans Saints when they won in 2010.