July 13, 2018 / 12:20 AM / in 10 months

Kellen Winslow II faces new charge: rape of teen

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II was charged with a 2003 rape of a 17-year-old girl on Thursday, shortly after a judge ruled during a pretrial hearing in Vista, Calif., that Winslow will stand trial on felony counts of kidnapping and rape of two women in their 50s.

File photo: Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow (81) runs after a catch against the Miami Dolphins during the second half of the game at Sun Life Stadium. The Jets defeated Miami 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Regarding the new charge, prosecutors allege Winslow forcibly raped a 17-year-old girl while she was unconscious in a house in San Diego County in June 2003. Now 34, Winslow was 19 at the time of the alleged rape, which has no statute of limitations because the victim was a minor.

He was arraigned on the new charge Thursday and will have a preliminary hearing in August.

During the conclusion of a preliminary hearing for other charges against him, Winslow’s bail had been set earlier Thursday at $2 million, which his attorneys said he will post before being released on Thursday or Friday. Winslow, who has been held since June 14 without bail, will be required to wear a GPS unit if released from custody.

Superior Court Judge Harry M. Elias also ruled Thursday that there is sufficient evidence for Winslow to be tried for alleged kidnappings and rapes of a 54-year-old hitchhiker and a 58-year-old homeless woman. Winslow also faces one count of forcible sodomy, one count of misdemeanor indecent exposure and two counts of misdemeanor trespassing.

Elias reduced the latter two charges from felony counts of burglary — prosecutors alleged Winslow entered the mobile homes of 71- and 86-year-old women with intent to rape them — after hearing testimony and reviewing evidence.

Winslow was arrested June 14 and pleaded not guilty June 15 in a Vista courtroom to eight felony charges and one misdemeanor, stemming from five separate alleges offenses in Encinitas, Calif., since March. He faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

After the three of Winslow’s accusers failed to identify him in court on Wednesday, the first day of the pretrial hearing, the 58-year-old woman picked Winslow out of a photo lineup on Thursday.

The 58-year-old woman testified that Winslow — whom she knew as “Kevin” — offered her a ride a few months ago and later offered to take her to coffee on May 13. She testified that he took her instead to a secluded area and raped her before threatening to kill her if she told anyone. The woman, who said she was homeless at the time, testified she was “scared to death.”

On Wednesday, the 54-year-old woman pointed out one of Winslow’s attorneys, Brian Watkins, when asked by a prosecutor to identify the man who attacked her. Winslow, who turns 35 next week, and Watkins, 49, are both African-American.

“Well, she did not describe our defense and our client and didn’t ID him in court,” Watkins told USA Today Sports outside the courtroom. “She ID’d me. I didn’t have anything to do with this. You better not write that I did.”

Watkins categorized the misidentification as “very significant.”

Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens argued during his closing arguments Thursday that DNA linked Winslow II to the attack on the 54-year-old woman.

Two others who testified Wednesday could not identify Winslow. The 71-year-old woman said a strange man whom she believed to be Winslow after seeing on the news that he had been arrested earlier in the month had entered her mobile home. But she couldn’t identify him, nor could a third woman who testified that a man named “David” exposed himself to her while she was gardening.

Winslow last played in the NFL in 2013 for the New York Jets, missing four games that season after being suspended under the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He was arrested later that year for possession of synthetic marijuana.

—Field Level Media

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