Vista, CA – The criminal trial of a former National Football League (NFL) player began on Monday with an opening statement that accused 35-year-old Kellen Winslow Jr of raping three women, including a 59-year-old homeless woman.
Winslow is the son of Kellen Winslow Sr., who played in the NFL from 1979 to 1987 and who is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
At one time, the defendant was the NFL’s highest-paid tight end.
Winslow was ordered held without bond at his arraignment on June 15, 2018 after he allegedly threatened to kill two of his victims if they contacted police, and he remained in custody through the start of his trial.
The former football star was initially arrested in a mobile home park on June 7, 2018.
On that occasion, a neighbor called the police to report a possible burglary, according to KGTV. That neighbor confronted Winslow and asked him if he needed anything.
“Nope, just looking for my dog,” Winslow responded, according to KGTV.
When the neighbor asked about the dog, Winslow said, “Well, it’s a red dog, Clifford.”
Winslow was arrested and booked into jail, but released the next day on $50,000 bail.
After the arrest, Winslow’s publicist said he was in the mobile home park looking for a home for his mother-in-law, and that Winslow’s wife was friends with the homeowner.
He said Winslow actually does own a red dog named Clifford, but was being sarcastic when he responded to the neighbor.
Prosecutors said they kept Winslow under surveillance after he was released following the first arrest, until San Diego sheriff’s deputies arrested him again just one week later.
The former professional football player was eventually charged with having kidnapped and raped two women, a 54-year-old woman on March 17 and a 59-year-old woman on May 13, and with having burgled a 71-year-old woman on June 1 and an 86-year-old woman on June 7, KGTV reported.
Prosecutors said that Winslow raped the 54-year-old woman when she was hitchhiking after he stopped and offered her a ride.
He attacked her in a parking lot behind a shopping center, WCMH reported.
The prosecutors said Winslow threated to kill his victim if she said anything and the woman was too scared to scream.
She reported the attack four days later, but refused to be examined.
Instead, she gave police the blood-stained pants she said she had been wearing that had traces of Winslow’s semen on them, according to WCMH.
In May of 2018, Winslow made friends with a 59-year-old woman and sodomized her.
The former football star was also charged with raping a 17-year-old girl back when he was in college, according to WCMH.
The victim, now the wife of a Marine, told authorities that the football player raped her when he was home for the summer from the University of Miami, where he was a college football star.
Winslow earned $40 million during an NFL career that was cut short due to injuries.
“Mr. Winslow, the defendant in this case, has been given much but it was not enough,” prosecutor Dan Owens told the jury, according to WCMH. “He took what he wanted.”
His attorneys, in their opening statements, argued that the sex had been consensual and asked the jurors not to judge the married father because he cheated on his wife.
The defense said that Winslow had never hidden the fact that he had consensual sex with the women and disputed the prosecutor’s claim that the victims didn’t know he was a former NFL player.
Winslow is facing life in prison if he is convicted, WCMH reported.