WEST LOOP — Now that accused serial rapist Marc Winner is out on bond, West Loop neighbors are taking extra steps to ensure his tanning salon business never reopens.
On Wednesday, the McGuire Condominium Board, which represents condo owners living at 1016 and 1018 W. Madison St., asked Ald. Danny Solis (25th) to do all he can to keep Soleil Tanning closed.
"We know that you agree that there could hardly be any greater public menace," the letter from the condo association reads.
Winner's former tanning salon is on the ground floor of the 1018 W. Madison building.
"We were alarmed to learn that Winner was released on bond," the letter reads."The threat is no less, and perhaps even clearer, as [prosecutors say] he has committed at least nine rapes."
Solis could not immediately be reached Wednesday, but previously said Soleil Tanning should be closed.
In late May, the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection shut down Soleil Tanning for operating without a business license. Winner has not applied to renew the license yet, department spokeswoman Mika Stambaugh said.
Even if Winner did apply to renew the license, it could not be renewed until Soleil Tanning owners pay the more than $2,500 owed to the city and resolve a city ticket related to the salon's awning, said Molly Pope, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Finance.
On Wednesday, Armando Chacon, president of the West Central Association, said that the agency believed in due process, but the allegations against Winner were disturbing and cast a dark cloud over the neighborhood.
"Given the severity of the charges and the potential risk to our community, we are very concerned for the safety of our residents and fellow businesses," Chacon wrote in a statement. "We commend Alderman Solis and the [city] in not renewing his business license to operate going forward."
The McGuire Condominium Board also appealed to Solis in May asking the alderman to help oust Winner from the neighborhood.
Prosecutors allege Winner raped nine women. Five of those incidents happened too long ago for charges to be filed against Winner, Assistant State's Attorney Mikki Miller has said. The remaining four cases are pending before Cook County Judge Carol M. Howard.
In three of those cases, Winner is accused of raping employees or customers at his tanning salon.
Winner was being held without bail in the third case until last week, when Howard set his bail in that case at $100,000. Winner was previously hit with $500,000 bail for this first two cases, and $25,000 bail for the fourth pending case.
When Lesley Barton heard about last week's bail reduction, she said, "This is exactly why rape victims don't come forward." Winner was arrested for criminally sexually assaulting Barton in 2001 — but prosecutors only pushed for a misdemeanor battery charge in that case, and Winner was sentenced to probation.
Winner will next appear in court Aug. 17 before Judge Howard.
To learn more about Winner's pending cases, read:
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