Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was in a California courtroom on Tuesday for a brief appearance tied to the multiple felony charges he is facing, including forcible rape, kidnapping and rape of an unconscious person.
Inside, the Superior Court judge rescheduled Winslow’s arraignment for two weeks, setting a November 15 date, but outside, the onetime Pro Bowler claimed his innocence.
‘It’s a money grab’
Winslow, now 35-years-old, was the sixth overall pick in the 2004 draft, and played for four seasons over 10 seasons, his last in 2013 with the New York Jets.
As he exited the courtroom, Fox 5 San Diego asked Winslow if he had anything he wanted to say, and Winslow made his first public comments since news came over the summer that he was being charged with raping two women this year, and a third in 2003.
“It’s a money grab, and unfortunately that’s the society we live in now,” Winslow said.
“I’m innocent. To the people who know me out there, who know what type of person I am, know my character, my NFL friends and family, just my regular friends and family…they know who I am,” he also said. “And I’m an innocent guy. I’m an innocent man.”
Kellen Winslow Jr. through his football career
Kellen Winslow Jr. through his football career
University of Miami tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. (81) scores after
getting past Florida A&M University defenders Levy Brown (11) and
Shedrick Copeland (31) in the first quarter of their game in Miami,
Florida, August 31, 2002. REUTERS/Colin Braley
University of Miami Hurricanes' tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. cannot
hold on to a Derek Crudup pass in the second quarter against Syracuse
at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, November 15, 2003. Winslow was
benched for the start of the game after several unsportsman-like
penalties in his last game against Tennessee. REUTERS/Marc Serota
Miami-Florida's All-American tight-end Kellen Winslow, Jr., will forgo his senior year and enter the 2004 NFL draft, coach Larry Coker said on January 4, 2004. Winslow Jr., son of Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, is pictured during the Orange Bowl game against the Florida State Seminoles in Miami, Florida, January 1, 2004. Winslow finished the season with a team-high 60 receptions for 605 yards but came under criticism for some of his remarks and antics. REUTERS/Marc Serota/Fuiles MS/SV
University of Miami tight end Kellen Winslow II holds up a Cleveland Browns jersey with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (L) after being selected by the Browns as the sixth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, April 24, 2004. REUTERS/Chip East MS/GAC
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Kellen Winslow (80) chats with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) after their NFL game at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland,Ohio December 3, 2006. Browns won on a field goal in overtime play, 31-28. REUTERS/Ron Kuntz (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow gets oxygen before playing the Arizona Cardinals in their NFL football game in Glendale, Arizona, December 2, 2007. REUTERS/Rick Scuteri (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Browns Kellen Winslow (80) stiff arms Denver Broncos defender Marquand Manuel (33) during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Cleveland, Ohio November 6, 2008. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (82) is tackled by Carolina Panthers safety Charles Godfrey (30) during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 19, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Keane (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (R) runs past Washington Redskins defender DeAngelo Hall (L) as he scores the game-winning touchdown in the second half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland, December 12, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (82) breaks free from New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Scott Shanle (58) for a gain during their NFL football game in Tampa, Florida October 16, 2011. REUTERS/Pierre DuCharme (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (L) gets taken by New Orleans Saints' safety Malcolm Jenkins during their NFL football game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana November 6, 2011. The Saints beat the Buccaneers 27-16. REUTERS/Dan Anderson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
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
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Winslow accused of raping homeless women, teenager
Earlier this month, Vista Superior Court Judge Harry Elias ruled that Winslow would stand trial for the newest charge against him, of raping a 17-year-old girl in 2003, ruling that enough evidence had been presented at a preliminary hearing for the case to go to trial.
The alleged victim, now 33, testified that she had a few drinks and went to a home in Scripps Ranch, Calif., where she was raped. Winslow would have been 19 or 20 at the time.
“I remember pushing my hands against his thighs, telling him to stop,” she recalled.
The woman further testified that she tried to forget what had happened to her and explained why she had never told anyone.
“Because I was 17, drinking under age, I just realized who he was,” she said. “Everyone was, ‘he’s going to be in the NFL.’ I just felt why would anyone believe me if I had sex with him two weeks prior?”
The first two rape charges come from alleged incidents this year: Winslow is accused of luring a 54-year-old woman who was hitchhiking into his Hummer on March 17, then raping her; on May 13, he allegedly raped a 58-year-old homeless woman.
Winslow allegedly knew the older woman from a previous encounter and offered to buy her some coffee but instead took her to a secluded area and raped her, threatening to kill her if she told anyone.
Facing life in prison
A trial date for all three could be set at Winslow’s next hearing, on November 15.
The son of San Diego Chargers legend and Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, Winslow Jr. is facing life in prison if he is convicted of these charges.
He is also facing charges of breaking into the homes of two elderly women in June, and on May 24 Winslow allegedly exposed himself in a public place.