Former Cleveland Brown Kellen Winslow Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to raping an unconscious teen in 2003 and to sexual battery involving a 54-year-old hitchhiker in a deal that spared him the possibility of life in prison.
Winslow, who played 10 seasons in the NFL and at one point was the highest-paid player in the NFL, told the judge that he was “sorry. I’m just not thinking very clearly.”
Winslow is facing 12 and 18 years in prison for the two charges.
In June, a jury found him guilty of raping a homeless woman in Encinitas, north of San Diego. Jurors also convicted him of two misdemeanors — indecent exposure and a lewd act in public — involving two other women.
Five women took the witness stand this summer and three were expected to testify again.
“Each of these victims, they didn’t try to come out here in order to try to frame Mr. Winslow,” said Prosecutor Dan Owens. “The fact that they had that courage to come forward and speak with law enforcement and to testify to all the things that he had done while facing all these cameras, I think it was important to me to make sure that that truth was heard, and it was important to me to make sure that he was held accountable for each one of those crimes.”
Winslow, who played for Cleveland, Tampa Bay, New England and the New York Jets, earned more than $40 million during his career in the NFL. He is the son of San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame receiver Kellen Winslow, who was in the courtroom throughout the first trial and on Monday.
Winslow Jr. repeatedly looked back at his father before entering his plea. As he left the courtroom Monday, he reached an arm out to his father, who responded by touching his fist to his heart.
Winslow’s attorneys said he suffers from traumatic brain injury from playing football and a motorcycle accident that ended his career.
They will argue that information should be taken into consideration at his sentencing hearing in February.
Source: Associated Press