The 49-year-old former West Loop tanning salon owner was sentenced two summers ago to 13 years in prison for criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse in the 2009 attack on a former employee. He appealed the conviction and was assigned the equivalent of a public defender because he did not have enough money for a private attorney. His public defender filed a motion requesting to withdraw from the case "based on the conclusion that an appeal in this case would lack arguable merit."
In a statement to the I-Team, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office said, "We believe that justice was served in 2018 when the defendant was convicted and sentenced and are pleased with the Appellate Court's decision to affirm these convictions. As in all cases, the SAO will continue to advocate for victims as they seek justice and healing."
The I-Team began investigating Winner in 2016, when investigators considered him a "threat to the safety of women" and suspected he had raped countless women since the turn of the century. According to prosecutors, Winner's ruse usually involved drugs and drinking with women he knew or had met in bars or at Soleil, the West Loop tanning salon he owned.
Facing the possibility of 97 additional years in prison, in November of 2018 he pleaded guilty to another count of criminal sexual abuse. That case involved a 26-year-old woman who had gone tanning in August of 2015 at his salon.
If Winner stays out of trouble at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center he will be released in April of 2028. He will be on parole anywhere from three years to life, depending on his behavior. There is a possibility he will be analyzed by a psychiatrist before his release date to determine if he is a sexually violent person, which could lead to a longer prison stay. Winner has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.