The San Diego Union-Tribune
A North County jury on Monday found former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II guilty of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman last year.
The panel reached verdicts on four of 12 charges Winslow faces, involving five accusers.
Aside from rape, the jury found Winslow guilty of misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and committing a lewd act related to two other victims — one a woman age 57 at the time, the other age 77. Jurors cleared him on a second count of committing a different lewd act.
The jury sent a note to the judge saying they are deadlocked on the remaining charges, which include the alleged rape of a 54-year-old hitchhiker last year, and the alleged 2003 rape of a then-17-year-old girl, when Winslow was 19.
Vista Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman ordered the panel to keep deliberating. The jury is expected to return to court Tuesday morning to continue their work.
If the jury stays deadlocked on the eight remaining charges, Bowman could declare a mistrial on each of those counts.
Winslow, a one-time Pro Bowl player, is the namesake son of a legendary Chargers tight end and Hall of Famer. His famous father attended every day of the trial, during which all five accusers took the stand.
The younger Winslow grew up in San Diego and went to Patrick Henry and Scripps Ranch high schools before attending and playing football at the University of Miami.
In 2004, he was selected No. 6 overall by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL draft, the highest drafted tight-end in more than 30 years. He spent 10 seasons in the NFL, and was at one point the highest-paid tight end in the league. He reportedly earned more than $40 million over his NFL career.
Last Friday marked a year since Winslow was initially arrested after someone spotted him enter the mobile home of a sleeping 86-year-old woman, then emerge shirtless. His camp said it had been a misunderstanding.
A week later, authorities dropped a bomb when they announced they had rearrested Winslow, and were charging him with a string of sex crimes targeting women in their 50s or older, including two counts of forcible rape.
The accusers included a hitchhiker and a homeless woman who each said they’d been raped in his SUV, and a woman who said a stranger exposed himself in her yard.
After news of the case broke last June, a woman called San Diego authorities to say she had been raped by Winslow at a San Diego-area house party in 2003, when she was 17 and he was 19.
While Winslow was out on bail and awaiting trial, a 77-year-old woman reported that he had committed lewd acts in front of her at a gym in February. The judge revoked his bail and ordered him back to jail.
On Monday, the jury found Winslow guilty of raping the homeless woman, who said she had met Winslow a few months before the attack, when he offered her a ride as she lugged her belongings to a shelter. She testified that he’d been kind to her when he spotted her on the streets.
But that changed on Mother’s Day 2018, she said, after she got into his Hummer H2 with a promise of getting coffee. Instead, she testified, he drove to a secluded spot where he raped and threatened to kill her.
The jury also found Winslow guilty in an incident that happened less than two weeks after the rape
. A woman
reported that she was tending her garden when a bicyclist tried to strike up a conversation, then exposed himself.
The panel found Winslow guilty of one of two alleged incidents with the 77-year-old accuser. In that incident, in early February, the woman said she was working out in a secluded spot at a Carlsbad gym when Winslow pointed to his groin and asked her if she liked it.
The jury cleared Winslow in a second incident authorities said happened about
two weeks later. In that case, the woman testified that she was in a hot tub when Winslow — wearing just a towel— sat down next to her and committed a lewd act.
However, she testified that she could not see what he was doing with his hands underneath the swirling and bubbly water. She also said she was so focused on Winslow that she had not noticed a second man in the hot tub.
During closing arguments last week, the prosecutor referred to Winslow as a sexual predator.
“This defendant is motivated by pure, unadulterated depravity for his own sexual purposes,” Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens told the jury during closing arguments June 4.
Noting the number of accusers, the prosecutor said: “Lightning certainly doesn’t strike twice — let alone five times.”
The defense argued that Winslow was wrongly accused, and that the case was plagued by lack of evidence and questionable credibility of alleged victims.
“Don’t take strong parts of one case to fill in the gaps of the weaker (case),” defense attorney Marc Carlos told the jury.
Winslow’s attorneys said during the trial that their married client had engaged in extramarital sex, including with the hitchhiker, who had Winslow’s DNA in her pants. They argued the encounter was consensual, not rape.
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