Kellen Winslow II was convicted of rape Monday in a case involving a 58-year-old homeless woman. The former NFL tight end was also convicted, per reports, of two misdemeanor charges involving two other women.
A San Diego County jury reached verdicts on four of the 12 counts Winslow is facing. Five women had testified against him at the trial. Three accused him of rape, and the jury said Monday it was still deliberating felony charges related to two of the women. It found him not guilty of a misdemeanor charge of committing a lewd act.
The panel was instructed to continue deliberating by Judge Blaine Bowman, who said (via KNSD) that the announcement of deadlocks on eight counts “shows we have a very dedicated and conscientious jury.”
The misdemeanor convictions include one for lewd conduct, involving a 77-year-old woman at a gym in Carlsbad, Calif., and one for indecent exposure, involving a 57-year-old woman in Encinitas, Calif.
Most of the charges, including the alleged rape of a woman in her 50s whom Winslow picked up while she was hitchhiking, stem from alleged acts he committed between March 2018 and February of this year. After he was arrested last year, a woman accused him of raping her while she was unconscious at a San Diego-area party in 2003. She was 17 at the time, and he was 19.
Winslow, now 35, played at the University of Miami before becoming the sixth pick of the 2004 draft. He spent 10 years in the NFL.
Winslow spent most of his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before ending it with short stints with the New England Patriots and New York Jets.
Winslow grew up in the San Diego area while his father, Kellen Winslow, was enjoying a Hall of Fame career for the Chargers. The elder Winslow had reportedly been a courtroom fixture since his son’s trial began two weeks ago.
In closing arguments earlier this month, a prosecutor noted the accumulation of testimony by five previously unconnected women against Winslow, who did not take the stand. An attorney for the ex-player urged jurors to consider each incident separately and focus on what he described as inconsistent testimony and insufficient evidence.
Telling the jury that this was not a “he said, she said” situation, deputy district attorney Dan Owens said (via Yahoo Sports): “This case is a ‘she said’ and ‘she said’ and ‘she said’ and ‘she said’ and 'she said.’ Five separate women, five separate victims, all corroborated by each other.
“This man is a sexual predator who has victimized all of these women,” he continued. “Lightning certainly doesn’t strike twice, let alone five times.”
“You will not get an instruction anywhere that says, ‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,’ ” Winslow’s attorney, Marc Carlos, told the jury. “You will not get that one. But what you will get is that each charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, each and every charge. Do not fall into the trap of picking pieces of evidence and making another case stronger. It doesn’t work that way.”
The woman Winslow was convicted of raping testified (via the New York Post) that they were familiar with each other from his encounters with her in Encinitas, where she lived as a homeless person. She said he had helped her with food and cash before he picked her up in his Hummer on Mother’s Day last year, telling her he was taking her to have coffee.
“I thought we were going to stop at Denny’s, and he just kept going and going and going and going,” said the woman, identified in court as Jane Doe 2.
After driving her to a secluded place, the woman said: “He held me, grabbed my arm … and said, ‘We’re going to have sex.' It was painful. I just kept my eyes closed. I was afraid of him. … He was a super big guy. … I just knew there was no way out.”
“He told me if I scream, he’ll choke me to death or murder me — I don’t know what it was,” she said. “I thought I was on my last night.”