The lawyers of former NFL star Kellen Winslow claim brain injuries drove him to commit the slew of sex crimes he is convicted of.
According to a statement Winslow’s legal team filed in court, Winslow was possibly hit more than 1,000 times during his football career, which allegedly gave him brain injuries that led him to sexually assault five different female victims. The 22-page statement includes a detailed overview of Winslow’s mental health; his lawyers are looking to have the convicted rapist receive the lowest amount of prison time as part of the plea deal he signed last year in November.
Winslow is facing 12 to 18 years in prison; a San Diego judge is set to sentence Winslow on March 18. “Mr. Winslow is not asking this court to give him a free pass based on his status or local celebrity. 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,” said the statement by San Diego attorneys Gretchen von Helms and Marc Carlos.
The former athlete was convicted of five crimes involving five different female victims, USA Today reports. The first was from back in 2003 in which he raped an unconscious teen. In 2018, Winslow raped a homeless woman and sexually battered a hitchhiker in the same year. His last two crimes involved him exposing himself to a woman who lived down the street from him and lewd conduct toward a 77-year-old woman at a local gym.
Winslow’s lawyers filed a statement that a clinical psychologist found Winslow showed signs of consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which has been connected to head traumas in football, according to USA Today. “His behavior and emotional states prior to his arrest bear a striking similarity to other individuals diagnosed with CTE after death. 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,” reads the statement from the psychologist.
Winslow’s legal team is also using a 2008 article from the Libyan Journal of Medicine that studied hypersexuality amongst people who have suffered brain injuries. “The article concludes that hypersexuality is a rare but well-recognized sequela of brain injury. It has been defined as the subjective experience of loss of control over sexuality; and consists of increased need or intense pressure for sexual gratification,” said Winslow’s lawyer.