Content Warning: This post contains mentions of rape and sexual assault.
Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. has asked for his 14-year prison sentence to be reduced, arguing that the physical trauma he suffered while playing football entitles him to a shorter stay behind bars under a new California law, according to USA Today’s Brent Schrotenboer. .
Winslow reportedly sent in a handwritten habeas corpus petition in November from a state prison in Tehachapi, Calif., and is representing himself without an attorney.
The former Cleveland Browns and Pro Bowler first-round pick received his 14-year sentence in March 2021 under a plea deal that saw Winslow convicted of forcible rape, rape of an unconscious person, assault with intent to commit rape, indecent and obscene exposure conducted in public. He initially faced life imprisonment.
Why Kellen Winslow Jr. Thinks He Should Get Out of Jail Sooner
The petition would argue that Winslow’s football-related trauma played a role in the offenses that landed him in jail and currently make him ineligible for parole until July 2028:
“The petitioner alleges that he suffered physical trauma as a result of Brian’s (sic) mild traumatic disorder, as well as potentially CTE. and this trauma was a contributing factor to the commission of the offense “, wrote Winslow by hand, referring to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease associated with traumatic brain injury in football. “Applicant now requests a remand for a new conviction based on AB 124. argues that physical trauma contributed to the offences…the court is bound to impose the lowest term (of the sentencing considerations).”
The bill Winslow is referring to, Assembly Bill 124, was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021. According to USA Today, the bill was intended to help defendants who have already suffered ” psychological, physical, or childhood trauma, including but not limited to sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation, or violence,” requiring that these issues be considered when negotiating pleas, sentencing or reconviction.
Winslow’s lawyers reportedly made a similar argument during his sentencing, saying he potentially suffered more than 1,000 blows to the head during his football career, as well as head trauma from a motorbike accident in 2005. He still received a 14-year sentence.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office reportedly said it had not yet received Winslow’s motion, but would consider it as soon as it arrived:
“We have not received Mr. Winslow’s habeas,” said San Diego County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Tanya Sierra. “Once it has been received, we will assess it for next steps. We believe Winslow received a fair trial and sentence for this serious sexual assault case. We will review everything, but with justice for victims at the forefront of our thinking.
In an earlier motion, Winslow also reportedly asked the court to lift the ban on leaving California while on parole, as he wants to move to Florida, where he attended the University of Miami, to start a career as an actor. coach.
How Kellen Winslow Jr. received his 14-year prison sentence
The 14-year sentence was the result of a years-long legal battle after Winslow was charged with multiple rapes and sex offenses committed against five women in Southern California. He was originally convicted in 2019 of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman in San Diego, but the jury was deadlocked on six other crimes.
Winslow later pleaded guilty to the rape of an unconscious 17-year-old girl in 2003 and the sexual assault of a 54-year-old hitchhiker in 2018 and later revised the plea agreement to set his maximum sentence at 14 years, which he received.