Former NFL player Kellen Winslow Jr. pleaded guilty to raping a teenage girl in 2003 and to sexual battery which involved a 54-year old woman on Monday in San Diego. The plea deal Winslow took prevented him from serving life and prison. He is now facing 12 to 18 years for the two charges.
"I'm sorry. I'm just not thinking very clearly,'' Winslow said to the judge at one point, as reported by ESPN.
The plea deal Winslow entered came right before he was about to be retried on six felonies including kidnapping, sodomy, forced oral copulation and two charges of forcible rape. Instead, Winslow took the plea and was charged with just rape and sexual battery.
Back in the summer, five women testified against the 36-year old and three of them were going to testify again. Winslow was found guilty of raping a homeless woman in Encinitas, California which is just north of San Diego. However, the jurors could not agree on the other charges which included him raping the 54-year old woman as well as raping the teenager who was 17 years old at the time.
"Each of these victims, they didn't try to come out here in order to try to frame Mr. Winslow,'' prosecutor Dan Owens said "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 previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying that the sex was consensual.
"The downside of any conviction would land him in prison for the rest of his life, and he made this decision based upon his family, his father, his children, and he wanted to be there for them in the future,'' defense attorney Marc Carlos said.
Winslow, a former tight end, played in the NFL from 2004-2013. He reached the Pro Bowl in 2007 when he was a member of the Cleveland Browns, recording 82 receptions, 1,106 yards and five touchdowns. He also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. His father, Kellen Winslow, played for the San Diego Chargers from 1979-1987 and he's a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.