COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man charged in three pending rape cases was released on electronic monitoring Thursday after a Cook County judge reduced his bail.
Robert Walters, 44, first made headlines in 2016 when DNA evidence linked him to the 2013 kidnapping and rape of a drunken woman who'd been trying to hail a cab outside Castle nightclub in River North.
Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. set bail at $5 million in August 2016. Trial Judge Carol M. Howard later reduced that amount to $200,000. Walters posted the requisite 10 percent and soon went free on electronic monitoring.
He was arrested again in November after DNA evidence linked him to a 2014 rape that occurred after an OkCupid date. Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil set bail in that matter at $75,000. Walters posted an additional $7,500 to be released — again on electronic monitoring.
In July of this year, he was brought before Judge Peggy Chiampas on allegations he raped a married woman he met in a bar in July 2016. Walters' DNA recently proved to be a match to that woman's rape kit.
Chiampas denied Walters bail, calling him "a danger to women."
At the request of Walters' defense attorney, Howard this week agreed to let Walters go free pending trial so long as he qualifies for electronic monitoring. Walters was released from Cook County Jail, 2700 S. California Ave., on Thursday, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office.
This isn't the first time Howard reversed another judge's denial of bail for an accused serial rapist.
When Marc Winner, a former West Loop tanning salon owner, was charged with the third of his four pending rape cases in April 2016, Bourgeois denied Winner bail, dubbing him "a danger."
Howard would later agree to set Winner free on electronic monitoring after he posted $62,500 — or 10 percent of $625,000, which was a combined "composite bail" for all four of his pending cases.
A trial for Winner is slated to begin this fall.
Walters will next appear in court Oct. 4.
In the latest of Walters' charges, he is accused of raping a 26-year-old woman in his Lakeview apartment in the 600 block of West Diversey Parkway in July 2016.
The victim and a friend had gone to dinner and a play before they wound up in a bar on July 16, 2016, prosecutors said. Walters approached the victim and had several drinks with the women before the victim and her friend got separated, according to authorities.
The victim doesn't remember leaving the bar, prosecutors said.
She awoke the next morning, naked and in pain, inside Walters' bedroom, Assistant State's Attorney Kathryn Roy said during a bond hearing this summer. Walters reportedly was sleeping naked next to the victim.
The woman gathered her belongings and tried to leave, according to prosecutors. Walters awoke and told the woman "that he had had sex with her," Roy said. After the woman left Walters' apartment, she called her husband and reported the attack to police, prosecutors said.
A rape kit was collected; the victim had bruises on her thighs, forearms and clavicle.
In March of this year, Walters' DNA proved to be a positive match to the DNA collected in the victim's rape kit, Roy said. Walters was later identified in a photo array and charged with sexual assault.
Defense attorney Vadim Glozman in July said Walters works delivering food daily. He attends church every Sunday, the attorney said, and has a very supportive family.