The 54-year-old woman was thumbing a ride on a March afternoon in 2018 when, finally, a boxy black SUV pulled up.
A muscular young man with short curled hair sat behind the wheel, tattooed from his wrists to his shoulders. He in agreement to give her a ride toward Encinitas, california, just north of San Diego. They made small talk on the way – but then apparently out of obscurity, his demeanor changed, the woman would later remember.
Point-blank, he vulnerable to rape her, and then aforementioned, “and if you say thing, I will kill you,” according to public public prosecutors.
The woman begged to be let out at a 7-Eleven, but it was futile, public public prosecutors aforementioned. The man unbustn driving, turning into a strip mall parking lot. He ordered her out of the vehicle, public public prosecutors say. She didn’t run because she was frightened and she didn’t scream either. Behind a fence near the freeway, he started to order her to remove her apparel, public public prosecutors say, before changing his mind and ordering her back inside his car.
There, he forced her to perform oral sex, and then pinned her against the rider’s seat and pillaged her, government say.
She according the alleged attack to police four years later, providing police a description of the man – the muscles, the tattoos – but expression she did not know who did this to her.
San Diego public public prosecutors say they know who it is now: Kellen Winslow II, a former NFL star who lived in a $3 million home in the area, not far from where the rider met him on the side of the road. Once the highest-paid tight end in the league, raking in more than $40 million over his 10-year career, the 35-year-old Winslow is now on trial as an suspect serial rapist.
The trial began Monday, as Winslow’s father, San Diego Chargers Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, sat behind him. Winslow II is suspect of raping the rider, a 59-year-old homeless woman two months later, and an unconscious 17-year-old in 2003, piece he was playing football at the University of Miami. He is besides suspect of exposing himself to a 57-year-old woman piece she tended her garden and a 77-year-old woman as she lounged in a fitness club’s hot tub. The charges in the five cases include rape, forced oral sexual intercourse and sodomy, snatch and indecent exposure, among others.
If condemned, Winslow could face life in prison – and would join a sordid list of former NFL players, so much as Aaron Hernandez and Titus Young, whose eccentric or violent crimes in the aftermath of their careers caused speculation about what role, if any, perennial head trauma contributed to their behavior. Hernandez, for example, who was condemned of murder, was posthumously found to be suffering from chronic traumatic brain disorder, or CTE, a neurochronic unwellness caused by head trauma.
But the unwellness can only be diagnosed posthumously, and despite speculation that Winslow’s defense attorneys may introduce evidence regarding the former NFL player’s mental state, they have made no specific claims attempting to link his behavior to football head trauma.
Instead, in an opening statement lasting less than 10 proceedings on Monday, defense attorney Brian Watkins claimed the “controversialists aren’t giving you the whole truth,” and suggested the sex was accordant. He argued Winslow’s only offense was infidelity in his marriage, that his actions were immoral but not criminal.
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“Kellen Winslow has been honest from the start, over a year ago,” Watkins aforementioned. “He admitted he had accordant sex with those controversialists, way back when. He was never dishonest about it.”
Winslow, maintaining his innocence, told NBC San Diego last October, “It’s a money grab. unfortunately, that’s the society we live in now.”
The stunning set of allegations against Winslow comes six years after he retired from professional football after playing for the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York blue blue jets. The son of single parents, Winslow grew up in San Diego with his father before enrolling as a star tight end for the University of Miami in 2001. piece a student-athlete there in 2003, he magnificently garnered national attention with a rabid locker room interview, where reporters asked if he accomplished he had injured an opposing player. He aforementioned he didn’t care. “It’s war,” he aforementioned. “They will kill you… . So I’m gonna kill them… . I’m a [expletive] soldier!”
That same year, public public prosecutors now say, he pillaged an unconscious 17-year-old girl at a house party, piece he was at home in San Diego for the summer.
But fearing the consequences, the alleged victim wouldn’t come forward for years, not until after seeing the news that Winslow had been in remission on sex crimes charges last June, public public prosecutor Bill Owens aforementioned Monday.
In the meantime, Winslow was chosen No. 6 overall drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2004, disburseedt five seasons there before bouncing around the league. He avoided trouble for the most part, but reports later emerged that he was unknown of masturbating inside his car in a Target parking lot, shocking a woman who saw him. She declined to press charges and Winslow denied the allegations.
Winslow did not return to the blue blue jets after the 2013 season, in which he violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He went on to live quietly with his married woman in Encinitas, calif., in an tremendous ranch home with a six-car garage that looked like a big red barn.
Then, in 2018, the police reports started pile up.
The rider’s allegations came first. Two months later, a homeless woman according to police that a man matching Winslow’s description, driving a similar car, pillaged her on the side of a road.
The 59-year-old woman aforementioned she had known the alleged rapist as an acquaintance. He had been nice to her, offering her food and money and rides on several business after seeing her on the streets. Once, Owens aforementioned, he even offered her $50 for sex. But she had aforementioned no, Owens aforementioned.
One evening in May, however, the man she allegedly knew as “Kevin” rolled up in his black Hummer at a train station where she was sitting with friends. He asked if she would like to get a cup of coffee, Owens aforementioned, and this time the homeless woman distinct to take him up on the offer.
But instead of coffee, Owens aforementioned the man drove her to a remote location, pulled over, pulled her out of the vehicle by her wrists and pillaged her anally in the dirt on the roadside. She screamed, so then he clogged her, Owens aforementioned.
“He left her on the side of the road, and she walked all the way, through the night, to coastal Encinitas,” Owens aforementioned. “She was afraid he was going to come after her, she was afraid she was going to find her, and so she went and sat in a taco shop by herself.”
Police, who knew the celebrated football player lived in the area, began investigation him based on the information provided by the women. Two others, ages 71 and 86, besides came forward to identify him as the suspect who bust into their home. And just weeks after the alleged May rape, a 57-year-old woman called police to report that a man riding a bike and matching Winslow’s description approached her piece she was tending to flowers in her yard – and born his pants to expose himself.
Police pulled him over and obtained a sample of his DNA on June 7, Owens aforementioned. It matched the profile of the seed found on the rider’s pants, he aforementioned.
Owens aforementioned Winslow then had his Hummer elaborate and promptly sold it, which Owens represented as an attempt to cover up any evidence. The women’s DNA was not found in the vehicle, he aforementioned, although Winslow’s sperm cell cell was. A bike matching the one the 57-year-old gardener represented to police was found in Winslow’s home, Owens aforementioned. He was in remission June 14, prompting the fourth controversialist to come forward.
“Kellen Winslow is a man who has been given much,” aforementioned Owens. “He reached the top high of his profession. He consequently has earned $40 million himself as a football player. He was born the son of a man who himself had achieved great high in his profession. … But it was not enough for Mr. Winslow to be given what he had in life. Instead he took from these women.”
Just this past March, public public prosecutors say, piece Winslow was out on bail, he exposed himself to a 77-year-old woman in a hot tub at a fitness center, masturbating piece sitting next to her.
He has remained captive without bail since then.