Attorney with Kellen Winslow Jr at defense table
Photograph by John Gibbins
"He said, Hey, do you want to go get some dinner, something to eat? And I said, I already ate dinner. And so then he mentioned coffee. And I said, Sure! Coffee! And for some reason, I wasn’t afraid. I mean, I didn’t think anything” bad was going to happen.
Jane said she walked back to tell her friends she was going for coffee. And she grabbed her bags. She kept all her belongings in bags and had learned to keep them with her at all times, because people steal things. She put her bags in his car first and then she hopped in.
Evidence photo shows passenger side of Hummer, where rapes allegedly occurred.
“And I forgot I left my phone with a friend.” One of her girlfriends had borrowed her cell phone, there at the transit center in Encinitas. “At that time, I slept by the train station a lot.” Jane said she had been homeless for about two years in May of 2018.
“I thought we were going to go close, like to Denny’s, which was just around the corner.”
But he drove past all the coffee shops.
“He just kept on going and going and going and going and going and going. And it seemed darker. And I said, ‘Gosh, is there anything open at this time?’” She guessed it was 8 pm that Sunday.
Kellen Winslow Jr, May 17, the day the jury was seated at his rape trial.
Jane tried to make conversation. She asked, ‘Where do you work out?’ He was so muscular, certainly he must exercise. But he didn’t answer. So she tried asking, ‘What kind of work do you do?’ He drove an expensive looking car, a new looking Hummer. But again he did not answer. “And that seemed odd to me.”
For about six months, this nice man had gone out of his way to pull over and make conversation with her. “I’d be with my friends downtown just talking, and he’d just drive up and say, ‘Hi, how are you doing? Do you need any food? Do you need something to eat?’ You know, like that. I said no.”
And, “He’d ask if I wanted to go get a bite to eat. Or if I needed some money for lunch or if I needed something. But I didn’t.” Jane said they would talk for a couple minutes, maybe five minutes. She thought he was nice. “Just like a friendly person that cared how I was doing, you know.”
She came to feel they were acquaintances, “So if I saw him, I’d say hi and we’d talk.”
Kellen Winslow Jr looks up at one of the arrest photos of himself, displayed for the jury.
“There was one time. He was offering me food. He was offering me lunch, offered me 25 dollars, and I said no to all that.”
And then he offered her $50 for sex. “And I said, I’m not that kind of person.” She did not expect that from him. They had been chatting for maybe two months by that time, in late January 2018. “I was very surprised.”
“And I said that, you know, I don’t do that.” And he just drove away.
She said she first met “Kevin” in late 2017, shortly after she turned 58, probably in December. She was walking on the street on her way to a homeless shelter.
“So I was carrying all my stuff, and he stopped and asked if I was all right, if I needed a ride somewhere, because I had a lot of stuff.” She told him, “It’s just down the street,” and he gave her a ride to the nearby shelter. She was in his car no longer than five minutes. “I just said thank you for the ride.”
The driver seemed nice. “You know, just like a normal, nice person.” Jane guessed that over the next six months Kevin stopped and spoke with her maybe ten times.
After all those months of casual conversation, that night in May when she was in the car with him, it was strange, “When I was asking him simple questions and he wasn’t answering them.”
He kept driving on El Camino Real and turned onto Manchester Avenue. They drove around a lagoon, where there are no street lights, it was dark. “And that’s when I started getting a little nervous, you know.”
She asked if they were going to a different Denny’s, the one in Del Mar? Finally he spoke, “He said, ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s where we’re going.’”
Then he made a sudden U turn, and pulled up on the other side of Manchester, onto the wide shoulder there. “There was no cars around, there was nobody around,” Jane Doe realized. She later guessed, “It was probably on dirt. I don’t know because I couldn’t see. I never got out of the car fully.”
“He got out of the car and started coming around. I locked the door.” Because she knew, “He was coming over to me.”
But he had the keys in his hand and he laughed and used the remote to unlock the doors. He opened her door and grabbed her arms and said, “We’re going to have sex.”
She said, “Please don’t do this.” She kept saying it, maybe four times. “I begged him.”
He told her, “It’s a done deal.”
“I didn’t think there was no way out, you know.”
First he raped her while she was on the front seat. “I never left the car.” She said, “I just kept my eyes closed.” She never tried to push him off. “No, I was afraid of him. Because he was a super big guy.” Jane is a thin, petite woman.
Then, “He had me turn around backwards, on the car, and hang out.” She was sort of halfway in and halfway out of the Hummer, the front passenger door was open, she was standing on a step rail that ran along the side. Her rapist, well over six feet tall, stood on the ground.
When he was finished with her, Kevin got back into the driver’s seat and put on a hoodie sweatshirt. She noticed, “It looked like he put something under his sweatshirt.” She thought she could see something there. “I don’t know if it was a gun, a knife, I didn’t know.”
Her assailant, “wouldn’t even look at me anymore. He just looked straight ahead.” When next he spoke, he told her to get dressed. “I was very afraid. The whole time I thought I was never going to get out alive.”
And then he drove toward some apartments, “And he was like pulling up in there.” Somehow this frightened her even more, “And I said, ‘Please, no! Please, no! Just take me home!’” For her, home was the transit station in Encinitas.
That’s when he said, “‘If you tell anyone,’ he didn’t look at me, he said, ‘I’ll murder you.’”
And then he suddenly pulled over on that dark road near the 5 freeway. He told her to take her bags.“I just grabbed all my things.”
She walked about four miles to get back to familiar places in Encinitas, scared the whole way. “Because I was afraid he’d come back.”
Eventually she made it to the Community Resource Center in Encinitas. Jane knew she could get food there, in the mornings. That was where she saw her friend Christina.
It was the morning of May 14, 2018. “And I wasn’t going to tell anybody. Because he said he was going to murder me, and I didn’t want anybody else to get hurt. I was afraid if I told anybody, they’d get hurt.”
But Christina inquired. “Because she knew. She said, ‘You’re not acting like yourself. What’s up?’ Because she knew me, you know.”
And, “She got it out of me. She just told me I need to talk to the Sheriffs.” Jane told one other friend, named Sherry. “And they all believed that I needed to tell (deputies) but I didn’t think it was a good idea. I was scared. I didn’t think it was a safe idea.”
Jane didn’t want the rape to be common knowledge. But word got out. “Everyone, everyone, all my friends found out, which I didn’t want them to know. I just shared it with Christina and Sherry. And then it seemed like... other people would ask questions. It’s like they all knew, but I didn’t tell them, at first.”
Jane Doe described her attacker as a large black man with tattoos who drove a black Hummer around Encinitas. Investigators compared notes, and one deputy remembered taking a report from someone who matched the description.
Kellen Winslow Jr. had claimed to be the victim of a road rage incident, and the deputy who took his report noticed his conspicuous tattoos, and his black Hummer, and his home location in Encinitas. The deputy was impressed that Winslow Jr was a professional football player. The son of a Chargers hall-of-famer, Winslow Jr played was all-American at the University of Miami and an all-pro for the Cleveland Browns during the 2000s. He had stints with the Buccaneers, Seahawks, Patriots, and Jets of the National Football League.
Detective John Johnson made a lineup of six photos to show to Jane Doe, the same day she reported the rape, May 14, 2018. Jane chose photo two as the man who had attacked her; she circled it and initialed it. It was a California DMV photo of Kellen Winslow Jr.
When she testified in court a year later, Jane Doe was shown photos of the tattoos on Kellen Winslow Jr when he was arrested. She remarked, “It looks like he’s changed the tattoos a little bit.”
A jury declared Kellen Winslow Jr. guilty of rape on June 11, 2019. He is now required to register as a sex offender for life, and could be sentenced to nine years in prison. Winslow Jr., 36, remains in custody, and is set to go on trial for additional rape charges in September 2019.