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 Nov. 15 date, but outside, the one-time Pro Bowler claimed his innocence.
‘It’s a money grab’
Winslow, now 35 years old, was the sixth overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft, and played for four teams 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,” he added. “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. And I’m an innocent guy. I’m an innocent man.”
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, California, where she says 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 Nov. 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.
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