COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Downtown masseur said he raped a client during a massage in February "because he thought she was physically attractive," prosecutors said Wednesday.
Anthony Winters, 39, was working at Therapy For Everybody, 111 W. Jackson Blvd., on Feb. 10 when he gave a 28-year-old client a massage, Assistant State's Attorney Kathryn Roy said during a bond hearing Wednesday.
The pair met for the first time that day when Winters introduced himself to the victim as her massage therapist, prosecutors said.
Winters is accused of raping the woman during a massage in a private room. When she "reacted in shock," Roy said, Winters apologized and told the woman he attacked her "because he thought she was physically attractive."
Winters then left the room.
The woman immediately dressed and tried to leave, prosecutors said — only to find Winters waiting for her immediately outside the massage room. He walked her out of the establishment, Roy said.
The victim immediately reported the rape to police and her sister, according to prosecutors. A rape kit was collected at a nearby hospital; the woman identified Winters as her attacker.
Winters turned himself in to police Tuesday and is charged with criminal sexual assault, court records show. It is not clear why there was a delay in filing charges.
The owner of Therapy For Everybody on Wednesday said Winters is not employed at her Downtown massage parlor — but refused to comment further. Winters still is listed on the business's website as its operations manager and lead massage therapist.
The site says he is "dedicated to the overall health and wellness of the body ... he now practices massage therapy, trains therapists, and is currently creating workshops and classes for the public. Anthony's ultimate goal is to assist as many as possible with day-to-day stress management, promoting the importance of personal health and well-being."
The site also contains testimonials saying a masseur named Anthony was "very skilled and professional" and "gave an amazing massage."
Prosecutors on Wednesday asked Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. to ban Winters from working as a masseur while awaiting trial.
The judge refused, noting that Winters is innocent until proven guilty.
"If somebody hires him, I'm certain they'll do a background check," Lyke said. "If they don't, they open themselves up to being sued."
Lyke continued: "I'm not going to deny [Winters] his livelihood. If he does work again as a freelancer, I can't predict his behavior. I can't deny him a living."
Bail was set at $10,000. If Winters posts bond, he will be required to wear an electronic-monitoring bracelet.
According to his public defender, Winters, of the 3800 block of South Michigan Avenue, is the sole provider for his two children. He is a high school graduate with no criminal background, the attorney said.
"Sir," Lyke said before Winters left court Wednesday. "You know not to engage in criminal activity while you're working. You understand that?"
"Yes," Winters replied.