Former first-round NFL draft pick Kellen Winslow Jr. raped three women and exposed himself to two others, a Southern California prosecutor claimed in opening statements Monday, while the former University of Miami star’s defense team claimed the encounters were consensual and Winslow was guilty of nothing more than being unfaithful to his wife.
Winslow, the son of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, could face life in prison if convicted of 12 counts of kidnapping, rape and other charges. The elder Winslow, a former star with the San Diego Chargers, sat behind his son in court Monday and did not react when prosecutors described the alleged attacks.
“Mr. Winslow, the defendant in this case, has been given much but it was not enough,” San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens told the jury. “He took what he wanted.”
Defense attorney Brian Watkins claimed that Winslow “has been honest from the start” and argued that the women had lied to police in their statements. He also claimed that four of the women were aware that Winslow was a former football player.
“When you’re in the spotlight, people want things from you,” Watkins said. “That’s just the way it is.”
Winslow was arrested in 2018 after authorities said they found ties linking him to two break-ins at the home of a 71-year-old woman on June 1 and an 86-year-old woman on June 7 in the California beach town of Encinitas, his hometown north of San Diego. After posting bail, Winslow was arrested again on additional charges of raping two women — a 54-year-old female hitchhiker in March of 2018 and a 59-year-old homeless woman two months later.
Owens said Monday that Winslow offered the first woman a ride on the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day before driving her to a parking lot behind a shopping center near Interstate 5 in Encinitas and raping her in his car. Prosecutors alleged that Winslow told the woman: “I’m going to f— you and if you say anything, I’m going to kill you.”
“She was too scared to scream,” Owens told jurors, adding that the woman was in “survival mode” and did what Winslow asked.
A friend convinced her to report the incident four days later, but she refused to be examined. Instead, she gave authorities the blood-stained pants she said she had been wearing. Owens said DNA tests found traces of Winslow’s semen on them.
The second woman accepted an offer of a ride from Winslow on Mother’s Day 2018 thinking he was going to take her for coffee. Instead, Owens claimed, Winslow sodomized the woman next to his Hummer in a remote area. As with the previous assault, prosecutors said Winslow told the woman: “If you scream, I will kill you.”
Since Winslow’s arrest, a third woman has come forward and claimed that she was raped by Winslow at a house party in the summer of 2003 when he was home from the University of Miami. The woman has said she was 17 and a senior in high school at the time of the alleged assault while Winslow was 19.
Still another woman, 57, claims Winslow exposed himself to her while she tended to flowers in her garden in late May 2018, approximately two weeks after he allegedly assaulted the homeless woman.
This past February, with Winslow out on $2 million bail, he was arrested again for lewd conduct after a 77-year-old woman at a gym said he exposed himself to her on two occasions and masturbated next to her in a hot tub in February. He has been jailed since without bail.
Drafted No. 6 overall by Cleveland in the spring of 2004, Winslow broke his right leg in his rookie season then sustained a serious right knee injury in a motorcycle accident that offseason.
From 2004 to 2013, he played for Cleveland, Tampa Bay, New England and the New York Jets.
He was suspended in 2013 while with the Jets for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.