VISTA, Calif. — Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II has been found guilty of raping a homeless woman last year, as well as misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and committing a lewd act related to other victims, a jury revealed Monday.
The North County jury, which has been deliberating since last week, reached verdicts on four of 12 counts filed against the one-time Pro Bowl player. The panel found him not guilty of a second count of committing a lewd act, which prosecutors said happened in front of a woman in a hot tub in Carlsbad, Calif.
The rape charge stemmed from a May 13, 2018 assault on a 58-year-old homeless woman in Encinitas, Calif. The misdemeanor counts had to do with accusations that Winslow flashed a 57-year-old woman in that city, while she was tending to a garden outside her home, and an incident involving a 77-year-old woman at a Carlsbad, Calif. gym.
Jury deliberations started June 5.
After Vista Judge Blaine Bowman took the verdicts, he sent the panel back to the jury room to continue deliberating on the remaining counts before breaking for the day. The jury is expected to return to court Tuesday morning to resume deliberations.
Last Friday marked a year since Winslow was initially arrested after someone spotted him enter a mobile home in a park for seniors, then emerge shirtless. His camp said it had been a misunderstanding.
But a week later, authorities dropped a bomb with the announcement that they had rearrested Winslow, and were charging him with a string of sex crimes targeting women in their 50s or older, including two counts of forcible rape.
The accusers included a hitchhiker and a homeless woman who said they'd been raped in his SUV, and a woman who said a stranger exposed himself in her yard.
After news of his case broke last summer, a woman called San Diego authorities to say she had been raped by Winslow at a San Diego-area house party in 2003, when she was 17 and he was 19.
While Winslow was out on bail and awaiting trial, a 77-year-old woman reported that he had committed lewd acts in front of her at a gym in February.
Winslow grew up in San Diego, and went to Patrick Henry and Scripps Ranch high schools before attending and playing football at the University of Miami.
In 2004, he was picked No. 6 overall by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL draft, the highest drafted tight-end in more than 30 years. He spent 10 seasons in the NFL, and was at one point the highest paid tight-end in the league.
He is the namesake son of a legendary Chargers tight end and Hall of Famer. Winslow's famous father attended every day of the trial.
The verdicts follow a roughly three-week trial that saw all five accusers testify and the prosecutor refer to Winslow as a sexual predator.
"This defendant is motivated by pure, unadulterated depravity for his own sexual purposes," Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens told the jury Tuesday during closing arguments.
Noting the number of accusers, the prosecutor said: "Lightning certainly doesn't strike twice — let alone five times."
The defense argued that Winslow was wrongly accused, and that the case was plagued by lack of evidence and questionable credibility of alleged victims.
"Don't take strong parts of one case to fill in the gaps of the weaker (case)," defense attorney Marc Carlos told the jury.
In opening statements on May 20, Winslow's attorneys said their married client had engaged in extramarital sex, including with the hitchhiker, who had Winslow's DNA in her pants.
In February, while Winslow was out on $2 million bail and awaiting trial, a 77-year-old woman reported two recent incidents at a Carlsbad gym in which she said he committed lewd acts in front of her, including in a hot tub.
On March 4, the judge revoked his bail and ordered him back to jail.