In a stunning turn of events on the eve of his second rape trial, former NFL star Kellen Winslow II decided to plead guilty to rape and sexual battery charges here Monday as part of a plea deal that allows him to avoid the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Winslow, 36, instead faces 12 to 18 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for February. He also will have to pay a $10,000 fine and register as a sex offender for life.

In exchange for those guilty pleas, the trial that was set to begin Monday has been called off and remaining charges have been dropped except for three other guilty verdicts against him from a separate trial in June. Overall, Winslow was found guilty, or pleaded guilty to, sex crimes involving five different women since 2003, including rape, sexual battery and indecent exposure.

In court, Winslow still struggled with his decision to plead guilty. He told Judge Blaine Bowman that “I pray to God” that Bowman would sentence him to 12 years instead of more so that he could “go home” to his family. The judge said sentencing would not happen until Feb. 19.