Ex-NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, who committed sexual offenses against five women across San Diego County, was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in state prison.
The 37-year-old son of San Diego Chargers legend Kellen Winslow was convicted in a 2019 jury trial of rape, indecent exposure and other crimes involving three women, and later pleaded guilty to rape of an unconscious victim and assault with intent to commit rape in crimes against two another victims.
He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
At his sentencing hearing, Winslow was offered the chance to make a statement, but he said he was instructed by his attorneys not to speak.
However, he said “In the future, I do plan to tell my story.”
In his trial, a Vista jury convicted Winslow of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman — Jane Doe 2 — in May 2018, exposing himself later that month to Jane Doe 3, who was gardening in her front yard in Cardiff, and touching himself in front of a 77-year-old woman — Jane Doe 5 — at a Carlsbad gym in February of 2019. The Carlsbad incident occurred after Winslow was arrested, charged and released on $2 million bail.
The jury could not reach a consensus on whether Winslow raped a hitchhiker he picked up in 2018 — Jane Doe 1 — or a 17-year-old girl — Jane Doe 4 — at a Scripps Ranch house party in 2003, paving the way for a second trial. Winslow entered his guilty pleas regarding Jane Does 1 and 4 on the day the retrial was set to begin.
At sentencing, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman said Winslow carefully chose his victims due to their vulnerabilities, in the belief that they would not report him or be believed at trial.
Bowman said that belief bolstered him to commit “brazen” crimes, noting that when Winslow exposed himself to Jane Doe 3, he had a bicycling app on that was tracking his location. He also had a court-ordered GPS bracelet on him when he committed the acts charged against Jane Doe 5.
“It just leaves us with someone who can only be described in two words, and that is a sexual predator. And that’s what Kellen Winslow II is,” Bowman said.
At the sentencing hearing, the victims each addressed Winslow and the court, with the exception of Jane Doe 3, who elected not to make a statement.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens read a statement from Jane Doe 1, who observed the hearing but did not wish to address the court.
Since her attack, she said she’s feared that “every black Jeep that drove by might be him.”
She wrote, “I hope that you serve the 14 years and it really impacts your life if you ever come out. I hope you get the help that you need.”
Jane Doe 2 addressed the court, saying the rape is “affecting my life every day and every night” and said she never feels safe anymore.
She told Winslow, “You’ve brought so much damage to my life.”
Jane Doe 4 and her husband each outlined the lingering impacts the rape has had on her nearly two decades later.
“My children watch me cry and shut down because I’m reliving this moment 24/7,” Jane Doe 4 said, though she said felt “empowered” by being able to tell her story, “because now I have a voice, a voice I didn’t have at 17 years old.”
Jane Doe 4’s husband said he has witnessed his wife crying and screaming in her sleep and had to explain to her that she was safe at home, then tell their children that “Mommy needs time alone.”
“I want nothing more than to make her feel safe, but I can’t prevent the nightmare’s return,” he said.
Jane Doe 5 said she continued to feel “embarrassed and ashamed” following the encounter with Winslow, who she said is a “very good judge” of who will make a good victim and has not learned from his mistakes.
“This is somebody who has been allowed to utilize his financial privilege and celebrity to evade jail while awaiting trial, which is when he victimized me,” she said. “We need to protect the women in our communities from this sexual predator for as long as possible.”
Though the 14-year sentence was agreed upon last month, defense attorney Marc Carlos discussed several factors he said affected Winslow, including the intense “public scrutiny” he experienced trying to live up to his father, and the “deep depression” he suffered due to injuries affecting his NFL career.
Though Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease which can caused by repetitive head trauma, was not admissible at trial, Carlos called it “the elephant in the room.” The attorney said he believed it was a mitigating factor in the case, saying Winslow has likely been struck in the head “about a thousand times” throughout his football life, and that the conduct in the case supported a finding of CTE, though the disease can only be determined at an autopsy.
However, Bowman rejected the theory that CTE played a role in the offenses, as Jane Doe 4’s rape occurred prior to Winslow’s NFL career.
Winslow II grew up in San Diego and attended Patrick Henry and Scripps Ranch high schools before heading to the University of Miami. His NFL career included stints with four NFL teams between 2004 and 2013, and a Pro Bowl appearance in 2007.
–City News Service
Updated at 12:50 p.m. March 3, 2021