Ex-NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II raped three victims and exposed himself to two others, a prosecutor alleged Monday, while a defense attorney told jurors that his client had consensual sex with the women, who he accused of pouncing upon his client’s fame to make false accusations.
Winslow faces life imprisonment if convicted of a dozen felony and misdemeanor charges, including rape and kidnapping.
The 35-year-old son of former San Diego Chargers legend Kellen Winslow was initially charged with raping two women in Encinitas in early 2018, as well as exposing himself to another woman as she was gardening in her front yard. Another woman subsequently came forward to allege that he raped her in 2003 at a home in Scripps Ranch, when she was 17 and he was 19.
Then earlier this year, while Winslow was out on bail, he was arrested again for allegedly exposing himself to a 77-year-old woman at a Carlsbad gym. Bail was revoked following his arrest in that case, in which he faces misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct, elder abuse and battery of an elder. The felony charges against him include rape, kidnapping, forcible oral copulation and sodomy by force.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens told jurors that Winslow “victimized” the women, who were all strangers to each other and either barely knew the defendant or didn’t know him at all. The prosecutor said all five alleged victims are slated to testify at Winslow’s trial, which is expected to last into the middle of next month at the Vista courthouse.
“Kellen Winslow is a man who has been given much, but it was not enough,” Owens said in his opening statement, telling jurors that the athlete’s professional and financial success to the tune of about $40 million was not enough to satisfy him.
Defense attorney Brian Watkins alleged that Winslow “has been honest from the start” about having sex with the women, who he said were not honest in their statements to police. Watkins alleged that four of the five women were well aware that Winslow was a famous football player.
“When you’re in the spotlight, people want things from you,” he said. “That’s just the way it is.”
Watkins conceded that Winslow has been unfaithful to his wife “numerous times,” but said though the acts were “wrong” and “immoral,” they were “not illegal.”
“Kellen’s not proud of it, but he’s never denied it,” his attorney said.
Witness testimony in the trial will begin Tuesday morning. The first witness to take the stand will be a DNA analyst who examined a garment worn by one of the alleged victims, a 54-year-old hitchhiker who Winslow allegedly lured into his Hummer, then raped on March 17, 2018.
Owens alleged that the defendant told Jane Doe 1, “I’m going to (expletive) you and if you say anything, I’m going to kill you,” then drove behind a shopping center, where he raped her in his SUV.
She went to police four days later and decided against a sexual assault — or SART — exam, but did provide police with the pants she wore during the alleged attack, which yielded semen samples that were a “one-to-one match” with Winslow’s DNA, according to the prosecutor.
According to Watkins, Jane Doe 1 willingly got into Winslow’s car and, in her original statement to police, said they had consensual oral sex.
On May 13, 2018, prosecutors allege that the defendant picked up a 58- year-old homeless woman — Jane Doe 2 — who he knew from a prior encounter and offered to take her to have coffee. Owens alleged that the defendant drove past several coffee shops and restaurants where the woman thought they might stop for coffee, but instead pulled over on the side of a roadway in a remote area and raped her in the dirt outside his vehicle.
When the victim screamed from the pain of the assault, Winslow said, “If you scream, I will kill you,” then choked her, the prosecutor alleged. Afterward, he allegedly threatened to kill her if she told anyone, according to Owens, who said the woman had refused Winslow’s offer of money for sex.
Watkins said Jane Doe 2 claimed to only know Winslow as “Kevin,” but actually knew who he was. Winslow also offered to have sex with her for $50, which she didn’t mention until later, according to the defense attorney
Nearly two weeks later, Winslow took his pants off in front of a woman tending to her garden in Cardiff, according to the prosecution. Jane Doe 3 said a man riding a bicycle came by her home twice and on the second time, exposed himself to her. She screamed for her husband, and the defendant “nonchalantly” turned, got onto his bike and left, Owens said.
The prosecutor said Jane Doe 3 didn’t positively identify Winslow, but that her physical description of the suspect was consistent with Winslow’s appearance and the statements from the other alleged victims. He also said GPS data from a phone app shows Winslow was in the area at the time of the incident, and a blue backpack similar to one that Jane Doe 3 described the flasher as carrying was found in Winslow’s house by investigators.
Winslow was also initially charged with two burglary counts for allegedly breaking into the homes of 71- and 86-year-old women on June 1 and June 7, respectively, with prosecutors alleging that he had intended to rape both women. A judge reduced both counts to misdemeanor trespassing charges at the defendant’s preliminary hearing last year, and prosecutors subsequently declined to pursue those charges.
Following his arrest last summer, news of the charges against Winslow prompted the third alleged rape victim — Jane Doe 4 — to come forward, Owens said. She alleges that in 2003, Winslow raped her at a house party while she was drunk and underage.
Owens said she didn’t originally come forward because she didn’t think anyone would believe her. However, he said she not only told a female friend at the time about the alleged rape, but in the years following, told her current husband and an ex-boyfriend that she had been raped by a man named Kellen.
Watkins told jurors that Jane Doe 4 changed her story multiple times, first saying she was sexually assaulted by multiple men in a car, then later saying it occurred at a house, where some other people present filmed the rape. He alleged that she told others that the video was spread around her school, but there was no evidence the video ever existed.
Winslow was out of custody on $2 million bail in connection with the felony charges when he was accused of touching himself at a Carlsbad gym on Feb. 13 and asking a woman — Jane Doe 5 — if she liked it, then masturbating while sharing a hot tub with her at the same gym on Feb. 22, according to police and prosecutors.
Watkins alleged that nothing actually happened at the gym and that by then, Winslow’s name had been prevalent in the news, coloring the woman’s perception of a man she assumed was a sexual predator based on media coverage.
Winslow II grew up in San Diego and attended Patrick Henry and Scripps Ranch high schools before heading to the University of Miami. He played for four NFL teams between 2004 and 2013.
— City News Service