Rape Trial Begins for Former NFL Pro Kellen Winslow Jr.

Photo: Hayne Palmour /AP Images

Former NFL player Kellen Winslow Jr.’s trial begins Monday amid charges of lewd conduct, indecent exposure, and raping two women last year, as well as the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl in 2003 when she was unconscious.

Winslow Jr., 35, has pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts brought against him by five women. His attorney, Brian Watkins, said in an email to the Associated Press that “we look forward to vindicating Mr. Winslow.”

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Prosecutors have said Winslow Jr. preys primarily on middle-aged and elderly women.

Winslow Jr., son of the senior NFL Hall of Famer, was once the highest-paid tight end in the league. From 2004 to 2013, he played for Cleveland, Tampa Bay, New England, and the New York Jets, but a series of injuries, combined with legal trouble, halted his career. The Jets suspended Winslow Jr. in 2013 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing-drug policy. He was also arrested in New Jersey in 2013 for possession of synthetic marijuana allegedly found in his car after a woman reported that she saw him masturbating in the car outside a store. The charges were later dropped after he “completed all court-ordered terms,” the AP reports.

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In 2018, Winslow Jr. made news again for two alleged break-ins: one at the home of a 71-year-old woman on June 1, and one later that week at the home of an 86-year-old woman.

He posted bail but was later arrested again that same year on charges of raping two women: a 54-year-old he allegedly kidnapped in March, and another woman, 59, in May. That same month, a 57-year-old woman said that Winslow exposed himself to her. During investigations into these disturbing claims, another woman told officials that Winslow Jr. had raped her in 2003 when she was 17.

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Earlier this year, while Winslow Jr. was out on $2 million bail amid all these allegations, he was again arrested for allegedly masturbating in front of the same 77-year-old woman during two incidents at a fitness center in Carlsbad, California.

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Prosecutors say Winslow Jr. asked the woman “if she saw [his penis] and if she liked that” during the first February episode, and later that month, in a hot tub, he started masturbating in front of her.

He has been jailed since without bail; if convicted, he faces life in prison.

Correction: Sept. 16, 2019, 8:55 p.m. ET: This story has been edited to remove unattributed text and to add fuller sourcing.

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