Kellen Winslow Jr: Ex-NFL player pleads guilty to rape

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Kellen Winslow Jr will be sentenced in February

A former American football player has pleaded guilty to rape and sexual battery as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Kellen Winslow Jr admitted raping an unconscious 17-year-old in 2003 and sexual battery of a 54-year-old hitchhiker.

In exchange, the court said the former New York Jets player would receive a sentence of between 12 and 18 years.

He would have faced life in prison if convicted of all charges.

Winslow Jr was about to be retried on six further charges in a San Diego court when he took the deal. These included kidnapping, sodomy, forced oral copulation and two more allegations of rape.

The court agreed to sentence him on the two charges and dismiss the others, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Winslow Jr, once one of the highest-paid players in the US National Football League, played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets and was the son of Hall of Fame player Kellen Winslow, who sat in court throughout the trial.

He will be sentenced in February 2020.

In June, jurors found Winslow Jr guilty of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman, as well as indecent exposure and lewd conduct.

But the jury could not decide on the case of the 17-year-old and the 54-year-old hitchhiker. Under this plea deal, the alleged rape of the hitchhiker was reduced to sexual battery.

Prosecutor Dan Owens praised the women for having "courage to come forward and speak with law enforcement and to testify to all the things that he had done while facing all these cameras".