Prosecution rests in rape trial of West Loop tanning spa owner Marc Winner

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Marc Winner is charged in three other pending sexual assault cases. | Cook County State’s Attorney’s photo

Marc Winner apparently wasn’t eager to talk to police who arrived at his West Loop apartment in the spring of 2013, to arrest him on charges of sexual assault of a former employee of his tanning spa.

As detectives pounded on his front door, a patrol officer staked out the alley behind his building and spotted Winner on his fifth-floor balcony, Chicago Police Officer Teresa Torres testified Wednesday.

“I saw a man, from the vehicle … with a leg swung over the balcony,” Torres said, adding that she yelled at Winner to go back inside, and he did.

Torres called for backup, then met up with detectives who had been calling to Winner from outside the door of his apartment for an hour. When Winner finally opened the door, she recognized him as the man from the balcony.

On Wednesday, prosecutors closed out their case against Winner, who also faces charges in three other sexual assault cases, putting on the stand a woman who claims Winner also raped her in 2012.

Winner’s attorney, Steven Weinberg, told Judge Carol Howard that Winner had not decided whether he would testify when the trial resumes Thursday. Discord between the 47-year-old and his defense team was apparent Wednesday, when Weinberg asked Howard for a break to review records Winner himself had gotten from his cellphone company just Tuesday night.

“I had a theory (of the case) set before I knew (the records) were in existence,” Weinberg said, noting that he hadn’t asked Winner for the phone records.

“And your theory didn’t involve use of the defendant’s cellphone records?” Howard asked.

“No. I was going by the records that the court’s already seen,” Weinberg said. “I thought those were sufficient.”

When the trial resumed, neither the defense or prosecutors referenced the call records.

The victim in the 2009 rape, identified in court by the initials “J.B.,” took the stand Monday, and testified that she had worked at Winner’s now-defunct Soleil tanning spa on West Madison before going to college. She met up with Winner and some friends at a West Loop restaurant and went to Winner’s apartment across from Soleil, where she says he attacked her.

J.B. sat beside friends and supporters in the courtroom gallery, as a second victim testified that one afternoon in December 2012, Winner picked her up from a Lakeview apartment in a sports car and took her to his apartment, ostensibly to pick up the prescription drug Adderall for her boyfriend. At the apartment, the woman said Winner grabbed her, poured pills in her mouth, then dragged her into his bedroom and sexually assaulted her.

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