Kellen Winslow II seeking reduced prison sentence, claiming ‘physical trauma’ from NFL entitles him to it

Former NFL first-round draft pick Kellen Winslow II has requested that his 14-year prison sentence be reduced due to physical trauma that he endured while playing football. 

Winslow was sentenced to 14 years behind bars in March 2021 under a plea agreement after he was convicted of forcible rape, rape of an unconscious person, assault with intent to commit rape, indecent exposure and lewd conduct in public. Originally, Winslow was facing life in prison. 

However, USA TODAY reported that Winslow had written a habeas corpus petition in November from the state prison he is at in Tehachapi, California, to have his sentence reduced under a new California law that he feels entitles him to serve less time. 

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Kellen Winslow, #82 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, rushes after a catch during the season opener against the Detroit Lions at Raymond James Stadium on September 11, 2011, in Tampa, Florida. 

Kellen Winslow, #82 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, rushes after a catch during the season opener against the Detroit Lions at Raymond James Stadium on September 11, 2011, in Tampa, Florida. 
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom passed Assembly Bill 124 in 2021, which reportedly can help criminal defendants who have experienced “psychological, physical, or childhood trauma, including, but not limited to, abuse, neglect, exploitation, or sexual violence” with re-sentencing, plea bargaining and sentencing. 

On grounds of the last two, Winslow is hoping he can be re-sentenced to a shorter term. 

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“Petitioner contends he suffered physical trauma as a result from mild traumatic brain (sic) disorder, as well as potentially CTE,” the petition reads, “and this trauma was a contributing factor in the commission of the offense. Petitioner now seeks a remand for re-sentencing based on AB 124. Petitioner argues because physical trauma contributed to the offenses … the court is required to impose the lower term (of the sentencing considerations).”

Winslow’s attorneys originally brought this argument before the court, saying that he had sustained more than 1,000 hits to the head during his nine seasons. However, the court still passed his 14-year sentence. 

Kellen Winslow, #81 of the New York Jets, during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 17, 2013, in Orchard Park, New York.

Kellen Winslow, #81 of the New York Jets, during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 17, 2013, in Orchard Park, New York.
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has yet to receive Winslow’s petition, according to Yahoo Sports. 

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Winslow’s eventual conviction spanned years of legal battles after he was accused of rape and sexual assault against five women in California. 

In 2019, Winslow was found guilty of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman in San Diego. He also pleaded guilty to raping a 17-year-old woman, who was unconscious, in 2003 as well as sexual battery of a 54-year-old, who was a hitchhiker, in 2018. 

Kellen Winslow, #81 of the New York Jets, warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins on December 29, 2013, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. 

Kellen Winslow, #81 of the New York Jets, warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins on December 29, 2013, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. 
(Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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Winslow, who played tight end like his Hall of Fame father, was drafted sixth overall by the Cleveland Browns out of the University of Miami. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets over his career. 

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