Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II — son of Chargers great Kellen Winslow — pleaded not guilty Friday, June 15, to multiple felony charges, including accusations of kidnapping and raping two transient women, one of them a hitchhiker who had gotten into his SUV.
The complaint outlining the charges against Winslow points to five alleged offenses since March, which also include a charge of indecent exposure and two counts of burglary with intent to commit rape.
Winslow II, 34, appeared in Vista Superior Court for arraignment on eight felony counts and one misdemeanor. He faces life in prison if convicted.
The female victims in the complaint range between ages 54 and 86. Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens outlined the allegations during the hearing.
The first two alleged victims said they were raped after getting into a vehicle. The third had been gardening when a man exposed himself. In the case of the last two victims, the prosecutor said, a man had entered their mobile homes.
All the alleged crimes happened in Encinitas, where Winslow II lives.
Among the charges in the complaint:
Kidnap, rape and forced oral copulation of a 54-year-old woman in March; Kidnap, rape and sodomy of a 59-year-old woman in May; Indecent exposure in May (the victim was a 55-year-old woman); Burglary with the intent to rape a 71-year-old woman in June; and Burglary with the intent to rape an 86-year-old woman in June. After hearing from Owens during the arraignment, Judge Robert P. Dahlquist ordered Winslow II to remain jailed on a no-bail status.
After the arraignment, the defendant’s attorneys declined comment.
Winslow II’s father was among the supporters in the courtroom. After the hearing, he and his son’s wife, Janelle Winslow, issued the following statement:
“On behalf of our son and my husband, we want to reiterate our love, support and affection for him during this difficult process. We will always be there for him and we know the true facts will come out.”
The last incident in the complaint happened June 7 — and that is the case that initially landed Winslow II under arrest.
On that day, a neighbor called authorities about 2:40 p.m. to report seeing a stranger go inside a mobile home where an 86-year-old woman was sleeping. The man emerged shirtless. The neighbor confronted him and the man left in a black SUV.
Deputies arrested Winslow in the area of site, the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park on El Camino Real. He was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary.
Within hours, the former football player posted $50,000 bail and was released from county jail with an order to show up in court last week.
Winslow II’s publicist said later that the arrest had been the result of an over-reaction from the neighbor.
On Thursday, June 14, the day he was to go to court, Winslow II was instead re-arrested — and this time, he was charged with nine counts.
Deputies had kept Winslow II under surveillance after he bailed out of jail early June 8.
In the wake of that first arrest, Owens said, Winslow II tried to sell his Hummer H2.
“The San Diego Sheriff’s Department, in the investigation of each of these separately reported incidents, did an excellent job tying all the leads together, being able to conduct a thorough investigation, which ultimately led to our ability to charge in this case,” Owens said after the hearing.
The incidents linked to both rape charges share certain similarities. In each instance, a woman got into a vehicle and was driven to an isolated spot where she was attacked.
The first victim — who had been hitchhiking when she got into the vehicle — reported that the assailant “told her if she screamed, he would murder her,” Owens said of the March 17 attack.
The prosecutor said the assailant had threatened to kill the second rape victim when she was attacked on May 13.
The two rape cases account for the first six charges.
On May 24, a 55-year-old woman was gardening when a man approached and commented on the flowers she was pruning. They spoke and she turned to walk away, but she suspected the man was following her. She “turned around and saw him two feet behind her with his erect penis exposed,” Owens said.
She ran inside and called authorities with her husband. The incident is charged as a misdemeanor indecent exposure.
On June 1, a 71-year-old woman found a man in her mobile home and confronted him, “initially afraid of why he was there,” Owens said.
The man told the woman he was looking for a particular unit — the same number as hers — and she told him to try another park in the area. He left.
The final charge relates to the incident on June 7, when a neighbor saw and confronted a man who had gone into the home of an 86-year-old woman, who was asleep.
The last two charges are burglary with the intent to commit a sex offense. Under California law, burglary does not necessarily mean something was taken. It can be charged if a person entered a building with the intent to commit a crime.
Also in court, Owens referenced a November 2013 incident in New Jersey involving Winslow II.
In that matter, according to nj.com and a police report posted on the website, a 58-year-old woman called police to report seeing a man in a Cadillac Escalade masturbating in a Target parking lot.
Police found Winslow II in the vehicle. There were two open jars of Vaseline but he was not exposing himself. No charges related to masturbation were filed, but he was arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana. The charges were later dismissed.
Owens said there is a possibility of other victims. He encouraged other possible victims to come forward and report allegations to the Sheriff’s Department.
Winslow II was born in San Diego, where he grew up and attended Patrick Henry and Scripps Ranch high schools before attending the University of Miami.
The sixth draft pick in 2004, Winslow II played in the NFL for 10 seasons. He started with the Cleveland Browns for five years, then was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the next three years. He played one season each for the New England Patriots and then the New York Jets.
--Teri Figueroa is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune