Read and React: The sad and shocking trial of Kellen Winslow II begins

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Once the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, Kellen Winslow II was in court Monday for the beginning of a trial that could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Winslow faces charges of rape, kidnapping and indecent exposure, the details of which are gruesome and will be fully laid out in court over the course of what’s expected to be a four-week trial.

  • A 54-year-old hitchhiker claims Winslow picked her up and then raped her in the parking lot of a shopping center.

  • A 59-year-old homeless woman says Winslow picked her up under the guise of buying her a cup of coffee. Instead, he raped her.

  • A third woman came forward after learning about these allegations against Winslow in news coverage, accusing him of raping her in 2003.

  • He’s also accused of exposing himself to a neighbor and, while out on bail, masturbating next to a 77-year-old woman in a gym hot tub.

The defense, however, says none of this is true, claiming that the sex between Winslow and the three women was consensual, and that the other incidents are cases of mistaken identity.

The accusations against Winslow are a stunning set of circumstances for a brash yet talented former football player who once nicknamed himself “The Chosen One.” The Cleveland Browns selected Winslow out of the University of Miami with the sixth overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft and, in 2009, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made him the highest paid tight end in NFL history.

The trial will play out in a suburban San Diego court room, with Winslow’s father, the legendary tight end who bears the same name, looking on.

Yahoo Sports will be in court all week to provide coverage.

— Jay Hart

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