Vista, CA – Former National Football League player Kellen Winslow Jr. pleaded guilty to raping an unconscious teenager in 2003 and to sexual battery involving a 54-year-old hitchhiker and avoided the possibility of life in prison.
“I’m sorry,” Winslow told the judge on Monday, according to the Associated Press. “I’m just not thinking very clearly.”
Winslow’s plea avoided him being retried on six felony charges of kidnapping, sodomy, forced oral copulation and two charges of forcible rape, the Associated Press reported.
Winslow faces a sentence of 12 to 18 years in prison.
Five women testified against Winslow in June.
“Each of these victims, they didn’t try to come out here in order to try to frame Mr. Winslow,” said Prosecutor Dan Owens, according to the Associated Press. “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 suffers from traumatic brain injury that is due to both his playing in the NFL as well as a motorcycle accident, according to his attorneys.
Winslow has symptoms associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to his attorneys.
The defense attorney will make a case than his brain injuries should play a factor in his sentencing. Winslow is set to be sentenced on Feb. 19. He has been in jail without bail since March, USA Today reported.
In May, Winslow stood trial after his arrest for the rapes.
Prosecutors said that Winslow raped the 54-year-old woman when she was hitchhiking after he stopped and offered her a ride.
He attacked her in a parking lot behind a shopping center, WCMH reported.
The prosecutors said Winslow threated to kill his victim if she said anything and the woman was too scared to scream.
She reported the attack four days later, but refused to be examined.
Instead, she gave police the blood-stained pants she said she had been wearing that had traces of Winslow’s semen on them, according to WCMH.
In May of 2018, Winslow made friends with a 59-year-old woman and sodomized her.
The former football star was also charged with raping a 17-year-old girl back when he was in college, according to WCMH.
The victim, now the wife of a Marine, told authorities that the football player raped her when he was home for the summer from the University of Miami, where he was a college football star.
Winslow earned $40 million during an NFL career that was cut short due to injuries.
He is the son of Kellen Winslow, who is a member of the NFL’s Hall of Fame.