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Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II pleads guilty to sexual assault charges

Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II pleaded guilty Monday to sexual assault charges in a deal that could result in up to 18 years in prison, instead of a possible life sentence.

Winslow was being retried on eight charges spanning 16 years and stemming from five accusers. He pleaded guilty to two of them: raping an unconscious victim and felony sexual battery, according to CNN affiliate KSWB.

If he had been tried and convicted on all of the charges, Winslow could have faced life in prison; but the plea agreement sets his sentence at 12 to 18 years.

“I guess I have to, your honor,” Winslow told San Diego Superior Court Judge Blaine K. Bowman about waiving his right to a jury trial. “I pray to God that you give me 12 and I can go home to my family as soon as possible.”

Defense attorneys say they will argue in sentencing hearings that repeated brain injuries affected Winslow’s behavior, KSWB reported.

CNN has reached out an attorney for Winslow but has not received a reply.

Winslow was found guilty in June of rape, indecent exposure and lewd conduct involving two women. But a deadlocked jury on the other eight charges, leading Bowman to declare a mistrial on those counts, which included kidnapping, two counts of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sodomy by use of force, rape of an unconscious person, elderly abuse and battery against an elder.

He was acquitted of a second lewd conduct charge, according to a video of the courtroom proceedings.

Winslow was arrested at his California home in June 2018. He was released a month later on a $2 million bail, CNN affiliate KUSI reported. But jail records show that a judge revoked his bail in March after police brought forth accusations from that year.

Police say the formerly highest-paid NFL tight end raped two women and exposed himself to a third woman last year, raped an unconscious teenager in 2003 and committed lewd acts in front of a 77-year-old woman in February, according to court documents.

Until this week, Winslow had pleaded not guilty to the charges. News reports have quoted Winslow claiming the accusations were a “money grab.”

Winslow was the sixth pick in the 2004 NFL draft. He spent four years with the Cleveland Browns before playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and New York Jets.

He is the son of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

cnn