Former NFL Player Darren Sharper Appears In Court
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Darren Sharper Sentenced To 20 Years For Drugging And Raping 2 Women In California

The retired NFL player will be elligible for parole in the state in 2024. 

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge sentenced retired NFL player Darren Sharper to 20 years in prison for drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles, bookending what has been several prison sentences for a series of sexual assaults.

Sharper, 41, was sentenced Tuesday (Nov. 29) in accordance with a “global plead deal” in light of attacks against as many as 16 women across four different states, according to the Los Angeles Times.

During his sentencing, Sharper’s rape victims shared horrific accounts of being drugged and assaulted by the onetime New Orleans Saints safety.

“I can only imagine myself lying there like a vegetable while he took advantage of my body without my permission,” one woman said in court. “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?’”

Following the victim statements, Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor lambasted the former professional athlete while lauding the "two alleged victims" for detailing the “unfathomable effect” that Sharper's actions has had on their lives.

“I think their individual statements speak volumes as to this disgraceful abuse of trust and the behavior of Mr. Sharper,” Pastor said.

Sharper was originally arrested in Los Angeles in January 2014 for two separate counts of sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges a month later, but the apprehension led to further accusations and eventual indictments on rape and drug charges in Arizona, Nevada, and Louisiana, in addition to California. Sharper has pleaded not guilty and no contest to various charges.

In May 2015, Sharper attempted a guilty plea in exchange for a nine-year prison sentence. The deal was later rejected by a federal judge, though a new agreement was reached. On Aug. 18, 2016, Sharper was sentenced to 18 years and four months in federal prison, a sentence which he is appealing. A week later, he was hit with another 20-year sentence by a state judge for three rapes in Louisiana.

All of Sharper’s sentences will run concurrent.

The disgraced professional athlete has been behind bars for two years, making him eligible for parole in California in 2024. As CBS News notes, the state requires him to serve at least half of the 20-year sentence.

 

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Dr. King's Childhood Home Sold For $1.9 Million To The National Park Service

The two-story Atlanta home that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr spent his formidable years has been sold. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the yellow and brown house on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta was sold for $1.9 million to the National Park Service.

Will Shafroth, CEO of the National Park Foundation said it was hard to place a dollar amount on the location where a lot of Dr. King's character was molded.

"It is difficult to value something this significant in our nation’s history. It is a priceless asset. It is one of the most important places to tell the story of America,” Shafroth said.

Bernice King, daughter of late the civil rights leader, said the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change had been considering selling the home since the passing of their mother Coretta Scott, in 2006. King said the center will focus on nonviolent educational and training programs.

“We are working on creating more robust, nonviolence training,” King said. “Our society is desperately in need of Dr. King’s nonviolent teachings right now in order to create a just, humane and peaceful world. That is what we are trying to put our energy in.”

The home was reportedly built by a white firefighter in 1895 and then purchased by Dr. King's maternal grandfather, Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, who was pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church for $3,500. When King's mother and father wed in 1927, they moved. All of King's siblings including himself were born in the home.

Elizabeth Paradis Stern, spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the preservation of the home will not falter now that it's out of the family's possession.

“The most important thing about this is that this property will be protected and preserved permanently as one of our most important properties,” Stern said. “It is part of the American fabric.”

READ MORE: New Book Details Dr. King's Teenage Years And His Alleged White Girlfriend

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Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuates After Bomb Threat On 6th Anniversary Of Mass Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School was reportedly forced to evacuate its students and administration on Friday (Dec. 14), after receiving a bomb threat, CNN reports. The incident occurred on the sixth anniversary of the school's tragic mass shooting.

Newtown, Connecticut Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde stated that the threat didn't appear to be substantial, but they decided to  evacuate the facility as an extra precaution.

Bomb squads reportedly swept the school and surrounding area for explosive devices but did not discover anything on the property. They later concluded that there was no immediate threat. The school administration dismissed students and faculty for the rest of the day however, considering the previous incident.

As previously noted, Sandy Hook endured a horrific mass shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult, staff members.

Earlier this month, thousands of documents were released about Lanza that revealed his mental state and social status in the years leading up to the shooting.

The shooting is not believed to be in connection to the recent string of bomb scares around the nation that targeted major politicians including the former first families Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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North Carolina Prosecutors Say Teen Would Still Be Alive If Cops Pursued Evidence From 2016

North Carolina prosecutors have placed blame on local law enforcement stating had police pursued evidence, 13-year-old Hania Aguilar would still be alive.

Robeson County District Attorney Luther Johnson Britt spoke with reporters Wednesday (Dec. 12) and said authorities were able to link suspect Michael Ray McLellan to an unrelated rape case for about a year but failed to take action.

"This hurts," Britt said. "This is like taking a punch to the gut and not being prepared to get it."

McLellan has been charged with first-degree murder and a host of other charges related to the kidnapping, rape, and murder of the teen. He's being held without bail. Last month, Hania was kidnapped from her driveway by the 34-year-old and forced into a relative's vehicle.

The eighth grader's body was found last week in water and the SUV was found less than 10 miles away from her body. Britt told CNN with the help of an interpreter he spoke to the teen's mother and explained their daughter wouldn't be coming home.

"It was a difficult conversation to have with her," he added. "Maybe the most difficult conversation I've ever had with a victim's family -- to tell them that had this information been followed up on -- her daughter might be alive."

Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said the department would launch an internal investigation.

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