Former NFL player Kellen Winslow Jr. pleaded guilty back in November 2019 to raping an unconscious teen and sexual battery involving a 54-year-old woman. In exchange for his plea, the court agreed to sentence him to between 12 and 18 years in prison.
At no point during the trial was possible brain trauma used as a defense to his sex crimes, but that all changed this week. As a judge considers sentencing on all charges, Winslow’s lawyer are trying to use Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy or CTE as a reason why he needs to get a light sentence.
Via USA Today:
“Mr. Winslow is not asking this court to give him a free pass based on his status or local celebrity,” attorneys Gretchen von Helms and Marc Carlos said in a statement, via USA Today. “He simply wants this court to understand that his actions were influenced by something outside of his control, and order him to serve a reasonable sentence of twelve (12) years in prison, which is within the stipulated range.”
A clinical psychologist further explained it while supporting Winslow and his effort to get a short sentence due to him possibly having CTE.
“His behavior and emotional states prior to his arrest bear a striking similarity to other individuals diagnosed with CTE after death,” the psychologist wrote, via USA Today. “This includes worsening depression, self-medication with substances . . . and a rapid increase/escalation of out-of-character, impulsive, and irrational behavior. Given the presence of repetitive head impact during his many years playing football and the presence of clinical symptoms, it is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Winslow’s presentation can be classified as possible CTE.”
His lawyers would then argue that his “hypersexuality is a rare but well recognized sequela of brain injury,” one that “has been defined as the subjective experience of loss of control over sexuality, and consists of increased need or intense pressure for sexual gratification.”
Winslow is going to prison no matter what, but his lawyers would like it better if he received the 12 years instead of the maximum 18 that he is facing.
The 36-year-old former tight end played for Cleveland, Tampa Bay, New England and the New York Jets and earned more than $40 million over 10 seasons in the NFL.