On Wednesday, former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II was sentenced to 14 years in prison for multiple sexual assault offenses in San Diego Superior Court in Vista, California. The crimes came against five women in Southern California.
He was convicted of forcible rape, rape of an unconscious person, assault with intent to commit rape, indecent exposure, and lewd conduct in public and the sentence was the maximum allowed under the plea deal. He is now a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.
The 37-year-old appeared through videoconference and did not speak ahead of hearing his sentence, saying the choice was by the advice of his lawyers.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman described Winslow as “two words, and that is sexual predator” and called the crimes in question “brazen.” He said even following Winslow’s first arrest, he continued to harass women.
Judge Bowman said Winslow selected women to assault and rape due to their vulnerability with age or living situation, and the thinking that “hopefully he would get away with it in his mind.” One woman he attacked was homeless at the time.
“The vulnerability of the victims was no accident. It was the type of victim that you sought out yourself because you felt that perhaps they wouldn’t report the crime” or “wouldn’t be deemed credible by the jurors,” Bowman said.
Winslow performed inappropriate acts in front of a 77-year-old woman and exposed himself to his 57-year-old neighbor.
The woman Winslow was convicted of assaulting was homeless in his hometown of Encinitas and gave a statement, commenting on how difficult her life has been since the incident. She said she has problems walking, raising her head and lives in constant fear. She says she cannot be alone.
“It’s affecting my life every day and every night. I don’t ever feel safe inside or outside. You brought so much damage to my life,” she said.
He was also convinced of indecent exposure and a lewd act in public, both misdemeanors.
The jury did not come to an agreement on the alleged rape of a 54-year-old hitchhiker and the 2003 rape of an unconscious 17-year-old high school senior. Winslow plead guilty to both prior to being retried on the charges.
Winslow’s attorney Marc Carlos used the defense that the ex-NFL player suffered head trauma from playing football, using that as the reasoning why he went “off the rails.” Carlos said Winslow acknowledges what he did and the responsibility of his actions and plans to get help.
Winslow is the son of Chargers Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow.