Ex-NFL player Kellen Winslow II gets 14-year prison sentence for rapes, assaults

SAN DIEGO -- Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in prison for multiple rapes and other sexual offenses against five women in Southern California, including one who was homeless when he attacked her in 2018.

The 37-year-old son of Chargers Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow appeared via videoconference at the hearing in San Diego Superior Court in Vista, California.

Winslow declined to comment before his sentence, saying his lawyers had advised him not to speak.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman said Winslow can only be described with "two words, and that is sexual predator." Bowman said Winslow selected women who were vulnerable because of their age or their living situation with the idea that "hopefully he would get away with it in his mind."

Bowman called them "brazen" crimes, and he said Winslow continued to prey on women even after his first arrest. He performed a lewd act in front of a 77-year-old woman at a gym while hiding his GPS monitoring ankle bracelet with a towel. He also exposed himself to a 57-year-old neighbor who was gardening while having a bike app that gave his location at the time.

"The vulnerability of the victims was no accident," Bowman said. "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."

The 14-year-sentence was the maximum allowed under a plea deal. Winslow was convicted of forcible rape, rape of an unconscious person, assault with intent to commit rape, indecent exposure and lewd conduct in public.

The forcible rape involved a woman who was homeless in his hometown of Encinitas, a beach community north of San Diego. She was among four of the women who gave statements Wednesday, saying that since she was raped she has had trouble raising her head and walking and that she feels afraid constantly, checking under beds and in closets, and cannot be alone.

"It's affecting my life every day and every night," she said while calling into the hearing via videoconference from the San Diego County District Attorney's office, where she was watching the proceedings with another victim. "I don't ever feel safe inside or outside. You brought so much damage to my life."

All described suffering years after their attacks from fear and emotional trauma.

"This is somebody who has been allowed to utilize his financial privilege and celebrity to evade jail while awaiting trial, which is when he victimized me,'' the 77-year-old woman said Wednesday. "It shows this is a defendant who does not learn from his mistakes, who shows no respect to our laws.''

Winslow's attorney Marc Carlos said his client suffered from head trauma from the many blows to his head while playing football and suggested that was why he "went off the rails," going from a star athlete to a convicted sexual predator.

Carlos said his client has accepted responsibility and intends to get help.

Jurors also convicted Winslow of two misdemeanors -- indecent exposure and a lewd act in public -- involving two other women.

But that jury failed to agree on other charges, including the alleged 2018 rape of a 54-year-old hitchhiker and the 2003 rape of an unconscious 17-year-old high school senior who went to a party with him when he was 19.

Before he was to be retried on those charges, Winslow pleaded guilty to raping the teen and to sexual battery of the hitchhiker.

The father of two, whose wife filed for divorce after he was convicted, had faced up to 18 years in prison for all the charges. Last month, both sides agreed to reduce the sexual battery charge to assault with intent to commit rape. That reduced the maximum sentence to 14 years.

Winslow must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2004 and spent four seasons with the team, being named to the Pro Bowl in 2007. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He was once the highest-paid tight end in the league, and his last NFL season was in 2013.