Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II did not raise brain trauma as a potential defense to the various sexual crimes on which he stood trial last year. As a judge considers sentencing on all charges, via a plea deal negotiated on the eve of a retrial on some of the charges, Winslow is advancing Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy as a basis for lenient treatment.
“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 explained in paperwork supporting Winslow’s effort that he exhibits the symptoms of CTE, a condition that only can be conclusively diagnosed after death.
“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.”
Winslow’s lawyers also 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.”
Accused of sexual crimes against five different women, Winslow faces 12 to 18 years under the plea agreement. His lawyers are aiming for the low end of the range.