Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II reached a plea deal Monday with San Diego prosecutors, avoiding a rape retrial that had him facing the potential of life in prison.
Winslow pleaded guilty to raping an unconscious 17-year-old woman in 2003 and to sexual battery of a a 54-year-old hitchhiker in 2018 as part of the agreement that will see him face between 12 and 18 years in prison, according to a USA Today report. He’ll be sentenced in February.
Winslow faced six felony charges involving three different accusers in a rape retrial that was scheduled to commence on Monday.
“I pray to God that you give me 12, and I can go home to my family as soon as possible,” Winslow told Judge Blaine Bowman when he entered the unexpected guilty plea.
Plea deal follows June conviction on another rape charge
Jurors convicted Winslow in June of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman in 2018, but were deadlocked on six additional felonies, prompting the scheduled retrial. Winslow originally faced 12 charges, seven of them felonies.
The jury in June also found Winslow guilty of a misdemeanor indecent exposure charge involving a 58-year-old neighbor and lewd conduct with a 78-year-old woman in a health club.
The prospect of facing life in prison prompted Winslow to reach Monday’s plea deal before the retrial commenced. Prosecutors dropped the remaining charges that could have resulted in a longer sentence as part of the plea agreement.
The deal came at the last minute as jurors had already been seated to hear testimony.
Courtroom outburst from Winslow Sr.
According to USA Today, Winslow’s father Kellen Winslow Sr. — an NFL Hall of Fame tight end and San Diego Chargers icon — confronted San Diego County Deputy Prosecutor Dan Owens, telling him “Do not look over here” in the courtroom.
A bailiff then removed Winslow Sr. from the courtroom.
Winslow II played nine seasons in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He made one Pro Bowl and earned more than $43 million.
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