Kellen Winslow II will be retried on rape charges

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Kellen Winslow II will be retried on eight remaining counts, including rape. (CourtTV)
Kellen Winslow II will be retried on eight remaining counts, including rape. (CourtTV)

Prosecutors will retry Kellen Winslow II on the eight criminal charges left undecided earlier this week by the jury in the former NFL tight end’s first rape trial.

At a hearing in San Diego County Superior Court on Friday morning, Judge Blaine K. Bowman said jury selection for Winslow’s second trial will begin Sept. 30 and opening statements will be heard on Oct. 7.

Winslow was convicted Monday afternoon of the rape of a 58-year-old homeless woman by the side of a dimly lit Encinitas road in May 2018. The jury also found Winslow guilty of a pair of misdemeanors for exposing himself to a 58-year-old woman who was gardening in her front yard and for stroking himself in front of a 78-year-old woman in a Carlsbad health club.

The maximum penalty Winslow could serve for those convictions is nine years in prison. He’ll serve up to eight years for the forcible rape conviction and six months each for the indecent exposure and lewd conduct misdemeanors.

Winslow began the trial facing the possibility of life in prison without parole after being charged with seven felonies stemming from the alleged rape of three different women. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on eight of 12 counts against Winslow, but the majority of jurors voted in favor of guilt in each of the deadlocked verdicts.

They voted 10-2 in favor of convicting Winslow of forcible rape of a high school senior after a 2003 house party. And they voted 7-5 in favor of guilt on felony charges associated with the alleged 2018 rape of a 54-year-old unemployed woman Winslow picked up hitchhiking in Encinitas.

Prosecutor Dan Owens hinted that his office would likely retry Winslow when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday after Bowman declared a mistrial on the eight deadlocked verdicts. Owens cited the potential to dramatically increase Winslow’s punishment if he can obtain unanimous verdicts in the remaining cases instead of majority ones.

“When a jury’s vote does favor guilt, that is a significant factor in considering whether or not to proceed with retrial,” Owens said Tuesday.

“Ten jurors did feel very strongly that he had committed forcible sexual offenses against more than one victim. That would lead to a lifetime prison term and that is a fact we will consider very strongly when considering how to proceed with the case.”

Defense attorneys argued that Winslow’s encounters with each of his alleged rape victims were consensual, seizing on the holes and inconsistencies in the accusers’ stories in hopes of providing the jury with reasonable doubt. In the aftermath of Tuesday’s outcome, defense attorney Brian Watkins promised to appeal the three guilty counts and portrayed the remaining deadlocked verdicts as symptoms of the weakness of the prosecution’s case.

“Clearly this case is not over,” Watkins said. “We will continue to litigate this case until our client is exonerated.”

During Friday’s hearing, Watkins asked Bowman to set bail for Winslow at $1 million with home detention upon the former tight end’s release from prison. Bowman declined, citing Winslow’s felony conviction and describing him as a “substantial danger to the community” and a “flight risk.”

“We do have a change of circumstance in this case, but it’s not favorable to the defendant,” Bowman said.

Winslow is the son of Kellen Winslow Sr., an NFL Hall of Fame tight end who remains a beloved figure in the San Diego area. The younger Winslow spent parts of 10 seasons in the NFL and at one point was the league’s highest-paid tight end.

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