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Ex-NFL star Kellen Winslow's rape trial: Witness refuses to look at 'rapist' in court  1 Month ago

Source:   USA Today  

VISTA, Calif. — A 59-year-old homeless woman took the witness stand here Wednesday and refused to even look at the man she identified as her rapist — former NFL star Kellen Winslow II, who sat in front of her several feet away.

After Winslow’s attorney, Marc Carlos, moved behind Winslow’s chair in court, the woman looked in his direction and flinched.

“I don’t appreciate it,” she said.

“What is it you don’t appreciate?” Carlos asked her.

“That I have to look at my rapist,” she said. “I think he should be further over (out of her line of vision).  No, I don’t want to look at him.”

The woman, identified in court as Jane Doe No. 2, had just given a graphic account of her alleged rape on May 13, 2018. That’s when she said Winslow offered her a ride in his Hummer to get a cup of coffee, but instead drove her to a dark place on the road and then raped and choked her on the passenger side of his vehicle.

“I thought it was the end of my life,” she said.

This was Day 3 of "The People vs. Kellen Winslow II," a rape trial that could send Winslow to prison for the rest of his life. Jane Doe 2 is one of three woman accusing Winslow of rape and is the second accuser to testify against the former standout tight end since the trial started on Monday. On Tuesday, another woman, 55-year-old Jane Doe No. 1, had testified that Winslow picked her up as a hitchhiker in March 2018 and then raped herin a parking lot two months earlier.

But unlike Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2 appeared visibly upset and gave mostly consistent testimony about her alleged assault. She exhaled loudly into the microphone at times and rocked her head rapidly during questions from Carlos and San Diego County prosecutor Dan Owens.

She also said she believed Winslow purposely tried to avoid leaving incriminating evidence on her by ejaculating away from her, outside the vehicle, and by choking her in way that wouldn’t leave marks.

“He’s smart,” she said.

Winslow, 35, is married with children and earned millions in salary during his pro football career after being selected sixth overall in the 2004 NFL draft. He has pleaded not guilty. Besides the three rape cases, Winslow also is accused of misdemeanor indecent exposure and lewd conduct involving two other women. All five alleged victims are part of the same trial, and each is expected to testify against him.

Wednesday’s testimony from Jane Doe 2 appeared to help the government’s case against him after the first accuser’s credibility came into question under cross-examination by Carlos on Tuesday.

“The testimony of Jane Doe 2 certainly helped prosecutors following the disastrous performance of Jane Doe 1,” said San Diego criminal defense attorney David P. Shapiro, who is not involved in the case but has been monitoring it on Court TV.  “Jane Doe 2’s testimony was certainly not without inconsistencies, but she was considerably more credible than what jurors heard from Jane Doe 1 on Tuesday. Consider Jane Doe 2 was audibly shaken up recounting the events, which is what the jury wants to hear from a witness who says a man raped her.  Jane Doe I almost seemed flippant recalling what she claimed happened to her.”

In his cross-examination of Jane Doe 2, Carlos focused at times on the fact that she knew her alleged assailant by the name “Kevin” and that she had met him a few times previously on a friendly basis. Carlos also noted in questions that “Kevin” drove an expensive Hummer and that she said he previously had offered her $50 for sex, which she said she declined.

It follows the defense team’s larger narrative, outlined on Monday, that suggests the sex was consensual, not rape, and that these accusers are opportunists who recognize signs of wealth or ways to get off the streets.

“All they have to do is raise a reasonable doubt about lack of consent,” said Arash Hashemi, another Los Angeles criminal defense attorney not involved in the case but monitoring it. “They are pointing out every inconsistency and forgotten moment as an opportunity to weaken Jane Doe 2’s insistence that the sex was rape, even while treating her with the respect one affords a victim.”

At one point, Carlos asked her if she had told friends about the alleged $50 offer for sex from “Kevin” about four months before the alleged rape.

“What does that have to do with the rape?” she asked Carlos. “That’s what I don’t understand, especially since I said no (to the $50 offer).”

She testified she told Winslow "please don't do this" after he pulled over on the side of the road and Winslow told her they were going to have sex. In response, he said, "It's a done deal," according to her testimony. She also said she screamed because it was painful and that he choked her and threatened her to keep her quiet. 

"I just put my head down," she said. "I was just waiting for it to be over."

Afterward, she said "he wouldn't even look at me anymore." She said he got back in the vehicle and dropped her off in nearby Encinitas before driving away. The next day, she said a friend persuaded her to report the incident after she sensed something was wrong. 

"She said she was taken somewhere," said the friend, Christina Garvey, in testimony Wednesday. "She said she was raped."

Jane Doe 2 was “emotional and believable,” said Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Silva Megerditchian, who also is not involved in the case but is monitoring it. “One of the most powerful parts is when she objects to having to look at her ‘rapist’ and asks that Winslow be seated farther away ... To jurors, this will strike at their emotions.”

On Thursday, the jury of eight men and four women is expected to hear testimony from Jane Doe No. 3. She was a neighbor of Winslow’s near Encinitas who was gardening in her yard last year when Owens said Winslow pulled down his pants and exposed himself to her. The charge in her case is misdemeanor indecent exposure.

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