ENCINITAS — Ex-NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, convicted of rape and other felonies stemming from sexual offenses against five women, will not be sentenced to prison for at least a few months, but attorneys disagreed in court today as to when the case should move forward given logistical issues concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
Winslow, 37, was convicted in June 2019 of forcible rape, misdemeanor indecent exposure and lewd conduct counts involving three women.
The same jury deadlocked on other charges related to two other women, setting the stage for a second trial slated to begin last November, but Winslow pleaded guilty to rape and sexual battery counts connected to those victims on the day trial was set to begin.
The son of former San Diego Chargers legend Kellen Winslow initially faced life in prison on the original charges, but currently faces between 12 and 18 years in state prison when he is ultimately sentenced.
His case, like many others, has faced delays due to the pandemic, and his Thursday hearing was held over video-conference, which has become typical since the pandemic began.
Defense attorney Gretchen Von Helms argued Thursday that Winslow was entitled to be physically present when sentencing arguments are made. She said that those hearings should not be set until early next year, when conditions may be more favorable for Winslow to appear in court.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens argued for a possible November sentencing date, saying it was “speculative” to claim live hearings might not be available until next year. Owens said attorneys could reconvene later this fall and determine then whether an in-person hearing could be held.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman, who oversaw the trial, set a status conference for Oct. 15.
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 last year. The Carlsbad incident occurred after Winslow was arrested, charged and released on bail.
That jury could not reach a consensus on whether Winslow raped a hitchhiker in 2018 — Jane Doe 1 — or a 17-year-old girl — Jane Doe 4 — at a Scripps Ranch house party in 2003, leading to the second trial and Winslow’s guilty pleas.
Owens said at trial that none of the five women knew each other, yet their accounts yielded common details and similar physical descriptions of the suspect.
Winslow’s attorneys told jurors in his first trial that the charged incidents were either consensual sex or never occurred at all.
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.