Former NFL Tight End Takes Plea Deal; Faces 12-18 Years for R@pe and $exual Battery Charges

Photo credits: John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP

The son of a legendary NFL tight end has accepted a plea deal in a criminal case that shocked the sports world beyond measure.

Kellen Winslow, Jr. (pictured) accepted a plea deal on Monday (November 4) offered by the District Attorney’s Office of San Diego County, California. Winslow, 36, was scheduled to be retried on multiple aggravated rape and sexual battery charges the day he copped a plea in his criminal case, which resulted in a mistrial earlier this year.

In June 2019, Winslow was convicted on four of the 12 charges related to the violent sex crimes in his original indictment. A San Diego County jury was unable to convict him on eight of those charges at that time. Rather than go to trial again, prosecutors offered to drop six of the eight remaining charges in exchange for Winslow’s plea on two charges.

The two charges Winslow pleaded guilty to on Monday were rape and sexual battery. He was accused of sexually battering a 54-year-old woman in a 2018 incident. The rape charge stemmed from a 2003 incident, which involved an unconscious 17-year-old female victim who was at a party with Winslow. He was 19 at the time.

In addition to charges in these two gruesome cases, the 6’4″ former Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl tight end was originally indicted for a series of other rapes. Those cases involved two transient women who were kidnapped by Winslow and taken to secluded areas where they were repeatedly raped.

The former NFL heir faces 12 to 18 years in California state prison for the two sex crimes he pleaded guilty to in San Diego County on Monday. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 19, 2020. At the hearing where he accepted his plea deal, Winslow requested the minimum sentence of 12 years hoping that he could see his family again one day.

He originally faced a life sentence for convictions on all of the 12 counts that were in his initial indictment, which was handed down earlier this year. Kellen Winslow Sr., Winslow’s father, also spoke at the hearing on Monday. In a fit of deep emotion, he told a prosecutor at one point in open court, “Do NOT look over here.”

Winslow Sr., 62, is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame who played for the San Diego Chargers (now Los Angeles Chargers) as a tight end. He was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.