SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former NFL player Kellen Winslow Jr. has been convicted of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman last year north of San Diego.
A jury returned the verdict Monday in San Diego Superior Court in Vista but was continuing to deliberate on two more counts of rape involving a hitchhiker and an unconscious teenage girl.
The jury also found him guilty of indecent exposure and lewd conduct, but found him not guilty of one count of a lewd act, which prosecutors had said happened in front of a 77-year-old woman in a hot tub in nearby Carlsbad.
Winslow, who played for Cleveland, Tampa Bay, New England and the New York Jets, faces up to life in prison if convicted of all counts.
All five women testified during the nine-day trial. Winslow did not take the stand.
Defense attorneys pointed out inconsistencies in the accusers’ testimonies and argued the women invented the allegations to prey on the wealth of Winslow, who reportedly earned more than $40 million during his injury plagued career.
Prosecutors say the son of Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow felt empowered by his fame to abuse the most vulnerable.
Prosecutor Dan Owens told the jury of eight men and four women that Winslow is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
The homeless woman in Encinitas, who was 58 at the time, testified that he befriended her and attacked her next to his vehicle after inviting her for a coffee in May 2018.
A 54-year-old hitchhiker said he drove her to an Encinitas shopping center parking lot and raped her in his Hummer in March 2018.
That summer, a 57-year-old woman said he exposed himself to her while she tended to her garden.
After news of the attacks broke, a woman came forward and said Winslow had raped her when she was a 17-year-old high school student in 2003. He was 19 at the time and had come home from college for the summer. She said she passed out at a party in a San Diego suburb and woke up to find Winslow assaulting her.
A 77-year-old woman who went to the gym as Winslow in the beach community of Carlsbad said he committed lewd acts in front of her, including touching himself in the facility’s hot tub, while Winslow was free on $2 million bail in February.
Defense attorney Marc Carlos questioned the credibility of the women’s claims, saying they had lied, misconstrued things or were unable to initially identify him correctly.
Defense lawyers also said the sex was consensual and that Winslow had cheated on his wife repeatedly with no-strings-attached sex.
Prosecutors said the crux of the women’s stories didn’t change and that evidence included traces of Winslow’s DNA on one of the accuser’s pants and GPS locations placing him where the women said the assaults occurred.
The five women testified that they didn’t know Winslow was famous when they met him.