Above: Kellen Winslow II is facing life imprisonment for multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including rape, kidnapping and lewd conduct. Closing arguments were held yesterday in Vista Superior Court. Photo by Jacob Aere
ENCINITAS — Ex-NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II “has proven himself to be a sexual predator” by raping three women and exposing himself to two others, a prosecutor alleged on Tuesday, while a defense attorney said the encounters with the women were either consensual or never happened.
The 35-year-old son of former San Diego Chargers legend Kellen Winslow faces life imprisonment if convicted of a dozen felony and misdemeanor charges.
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.
Earlier this year, while Winslow was out on bail, he was arrested 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Bail was revoked following his arrest in that case, in which he faces misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct, elder abuse and battery of an elder.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.
“Kellen Winslow took from these women what he wanted,” Deputy
District Attorney Dan Owens told the jury in his closing argument. “Kellen Winslow took from these women again and again and again. This man took what he wanted from them and threw them away like trash because that’s what he thought of them.”
Owens said none of the five women knew each other, yet their accounts yielded common details and similar physical descriptions of the suspect.
Jane Doe 1, a 54-year-old hitchhiker, was allegedly lured into Winslow’s Hummer and raped on March 17, 2018, according to the prosecutor. He alleged that the defendant told her, “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.
WATCH LIVE: Closing statements are underway in the rape trial of ex-NFL player Kellen Winslow, Jr. https://t.co/mm73OKvnrC
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) June 4, 2019
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.
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 near his vehicle, Owens alleged.
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 threatened to kill her if she told anyone, according to Owens.
Winslow was arrested on June 7, 2018, during a traffic stop while driving his Hummer, and a buccal swab was taken, which provided police with a DNA match to Jane Doe 1’s pants, Owens said.
The prosecutor alleged that on the same day Winslow was arrested, he began working on selling his Hummer in an attempt to hide what was “essentially the crime scene” for the rapes of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2.
The Hummer was sold by June 11, though police later seized the vehicle and found evidence of Winslow’s semen in the backseat, according to the prosecution.
Nearly two weeks after allegedly raping Jane Doe 2, 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.
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 alleged 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, 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, according to the prosecutor.
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.
Defense attorney Marc Carlos said Jane Doe 1’s encounter with Winslow was consensual and said her account of the event strained credibility.
Carlos said that according to Jane Doe 1, after Winslow drove them to the shopping center and demanded sex, he first had her climb over a fence that separated the shopping center from the freeway, then changed his mind and had her climb back into the parking lot, where he forced her into the Hummer and raped her.
After she climbed back into the parking lot, she was fully clothed, while Winslow was naked on the other side of the fence, which gave her ample opportunity to flee and alert others at the shopping center, Carlos said.
The attorney also emphasized that after Winslow drove off, leaving her alone in the parking lot, she did not call attention to what happened to any bystanders and did not contact police for four days.
“She wasn’t raped, nor was she in fear for her life,” Carlos said. “Every piece of evidence is consistent with a consensual encounter.”
Carlos said there was similarly no evidence of a violent assault and rape with Jane Doe 2. The attorney said the sexual assault exam did not reveal any rape happened and there were no visible injuries on her neck stemming from an alleged stranglehold.
In Jane Doe 3’s case, Carlos emphasized that she never identified Winslow as the flasher. He noted she did not identify him in a police photo lineup shortly afterward, nor did she identify him at last year’s preliminary hearing or when she testified during the trial.
The attorney said Jane Doe 4 drastically changed her story in two separate accounts she gave to investigators. Her first account to a sheriff’s detective was that she was sexually assaulted by multiple men in a car Winslow was driving, and her second version was that Winslow raped her at a house, where some other people present filmed the rape, the defense attorney said.
Carlos said those accounts were “entirely different other than Mr. Winslow being involved” and said Jane Doe 4, who had previously been in a consensual sexual relationship with Winslow, was “upset with Mr. Winslow and harbored a long-term resentment toward him.”
In Jane Doe 5’s case, Carlos alleged that she recognized him from news accounts and made assumptions about his behavior based on pervasive media coverage.
Regarding the alleged masturbation in the hot tub, he said she testified that she looked away because she did not want to see anything, and simply assumed Winslow was engaging in lewd behavior because of what she had heard in the news.
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.