Kellen Winslow Jr. Requests Reduced 14-Year Prison Sentence Due To ‘Physical Trauma’ From Soccer

FILE - In this June 15, 2018 file photo, former NFL football player Kellen Winslow Jr., center, leaves his appearance in Vista, California.  for his hometown San Diego Chargers, he will go on trial Monday, May 20, 2019 on multiple charges including raping two women last year and raping an unconscious 17-year-old girl.  He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.  (Hayne Palmour/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

Kellen Winslow Jr., a onetime Pro Bowler for the Browns, is not eligible for parole until 2028. (Hayne Palmour/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

Content Warning: This post contains mentions of rape and sexual assault.

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. has petitioned to have his 14-year prison sentence reduced on the grounds that the physical trauma he suffered while playing football entitles him to a shorter stay behind bars under a new California law, according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today.

Winslow reportedly mailed a handwritten habeas corpus petition in November from a state prison in Tehachapi, California, and is representing himself without an attorney.

previous cleveland browns first-round pick and professional bowler 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 exposure and lewd conduct in public. He had originally faced life in prison.

Why Kellen Winslow Jr. Thinks He Should Get Out Of Prison Early

The petition reportedly argues that Winslow’s trauma from soccer played a role in the crimes that landed him in prison and currently have him ineligible for parole until July 2028:

“Petitioner maintains that he suffered physical trauma as a result of brian(sic) mild traumatic disorder, as well as potentially CTE. and this trauma was a contributing factor in the commission of the offence,” Winslow wrote by hand, referring to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease associated with head injuries in soccer. “Petitioner now seeks pretrial detention for a new sentence based on AB 124. Petitioner argues that physical trauma contributed to the crimes…the court should impose the lower term (of sentencing considerations).”

The bill Winslow refers to, Assembly Bill 124was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021. According to USA Today, the bill was intended to help criminal defendants who previously experienced “psychological, physical, or childhood trauma, including but not limited to , abuse, neglect, exploitation, or sexual violence,” which requires that such issues be considered during plea bargaining, sentencing, or resentencing.

Winslow’s lawyers reportedly made a similar argument during his sentencing, alleging that he had potentially suffered more than 1,000 blows to the head during his football career, as well as head trauma from a motorcycle accident in 2005. He still received a sentence. of 14 years.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office reportedly said it had not received Winslow’s petition yet, but would consider it when it arrives:

“We have not received Mr. Winslow’s habeas,” said Tanya Sierra, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. “Once it has been received, we will evaluate it for the 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 consideration.”

In an earlier petition, Winslow also asked the court to strike down the ban on leaving California during his probation period, as he wants to move to Florida, where he attended college in Miami, to begin a coaching career.

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 accused of multiple rapes and sexual offenses committed against five women in Southern California. He was originally convicted in 2019 of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman in San Diegobut the jury was deadlocked on six additional counts.

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 reviewed the plea agreement so he set his maximum sentence at 14 years, which he received.

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