Closing Arguments to Begin in Ex-Salon Owner's Rape Trial

Closing arguments were scheduled to begin Friday in the trial of Marc Winner, the former West Loop tanning salon owner has been accused by at least eight women of rape.

Winner took the stand Thursday, answering questions from defense attorneys and prosecutors for more than two and a half hours and flatly denying all the allegations against him.

One of the women accusing him of rape is a former salon employee identified only as JB, who testified on Monday that Winner forced himself on her in the summer of 2009 after she says he gave her cocaine.

Winner admitted to giving the drug but insisted he did not rape her, and that she had been flirting with him that night. The defense attorney asked if Winner grabbed the alleged victim and started kissing her.

"No, it was mutual," Winner said, later elaborating, "She was giving me signals all night and we were fooling around."

Winner admitted to providing the alleged victim with cocaine that night but denied ever having intercourse.

Defense attorneys painted a picture of Winner as a germaphobe who ceased what he called “mutual” intimacy with the victim after learning she was menstruating.

Meanwhile, prosecutors focused in on a 911 call made by the victim immediately after the encounter as well as multiple calls Winner admitted to making to the victim after the alleged rape.

Both the defense and prosecution rested their cases Thursday afternoon, with closing arguments scheduled to begin Friday at 11 a.m.

Winner avoided a jury trial, meaning a judge will likely announce a verdict next week.

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