COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Marc Winner, the former owner of a West Loop tanning salon accused by multiple women of raping them, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison in one of the cases.
Winner, who operated the Soleil tanning salon at 1018 W. Madison, was convicted in the 2009 rape of one woman in early May. Investigators have said he might have raped as many as nine women over 16 years. He is facing charges in one other case after charges in two cases were dropped Tuesday.
Prosecutors — and Winner’s victims — have said the assaults were violent, with the salon owner biting and choking women before and during raping them. The alleged victims were customers or employees of Winner.
After a two-hour sentencing hearing, Cook County Judge Carol M. Howard sentenced Winner to 12 years for sexual assault and one year for sexual abuse.
Prosecutors called Winner a serial rapist “who shows no remorse for his crimes.” Several women who said they were victims of Winner spoke during the hearing, telling the court Winner had hurt their trust in people and left them with lifelong scars.
“He brutally strangled and raped me,” Lesley Barton, who said she was raped by Winner in 2001, told the court.
Prosecutors said they think Barton was Winner’s first rape victim. She told the court Winner strangled her as he pulled down her pants to rape her, leaving her “gurgling” as she tried to tell him to stop. She was traumatized and suffered from PTSD, Barton said.
Another alleged victim, who asked to be known as M.T., told the court being raped by Winner shook her trust in people. She can no longer go out at night or live alone.
“How many times does someone need to rape a person before he gets caught? How many times does he get away with it?” M.T. said, reading from a victim impact statement. “Hopefully never again.”
Another victim, J.B., whose case Winner was being sentenced for, said she tried to fight off Winner but he pushed her down and told her to “shut up” when she cried.
The attack has traumatized J.B. and her family, she said, but she was always determined to get justice.
“Nine years ago, you got away with it. Five years ago, you got away with it again,” she said. “But I always knew your time was coming.”
Winner was largely quiet, though he appeared to cry when his attorney, in a bid for mercy, told the judge Winner has a condition that makes his eye bulge. After being sentenced, he told the judge an innocent man was being jailed.
Winner was previously convicted of misdemeanor battery in the Barton case, but officials said he continued to rape women.
Years after Barton was attacked, in March 2013, a friend of Winner’s told police they should investigate him for assaulting women, according to DNAinfo Chicago. Winner was charged with raping a former employee in that year; the charges were later dropped, but prosecutors again pursued them in 2016.
Winner was evicted from his West Loop storefront in December 2016 while facing multiple rape accusations.