Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II agreed Friday to a change in his rape-case plea deal so he could secure a 14-year prison sentence.
Once a first-round NFL draft pick and the highest-paid tight end in the league, the 37-year-old Encinitas resident had faced 12 to 18 years in prison following his convictions for raping a homeless woman and charges linked to misconduct with other women.
But his attorneys disputed whether the sentences added up to 18 years. To avoid a courtroom battle, the prosecution and defense agreed to a change in Winslow’s guilty plea, swapping out one charge for another.
To achieve this, Winslow’s guilty plea to sexual battery of a 54-year-old hitchhiker in Encinitas was dropped and replaced with a guilty plea to assault with the intent to commit rape.
Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman approved the change Friday and set Winslow’s sentencing date for March 3. Aside from a prison term, he must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
During the court hearing, Winslow, who is Black, asked the judge whether he would be able to “get an actual jury of my peers, people of color that would look like me?” if he were to go to trial.
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SOURCE: LA Times; San Diego Union-Tribune, Teri Figueroa