Serial rape suspect Marc Winner gives blanket denials to all wrongdoing

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The ABC 7 I-Team was in court as accused rapist Marc Winner took the stand in his own defense. (WLS)

In his first rape trial, accused serial attacker Marc Winner blamed the alleged victim for arranging an evening meet-up and denied forcing himself on her or even having sex with her.

Under direct examination, Winner refuted-point by point-all charges made by alleged victim J.B. She testified against him near the beginning of his trial at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.

Winner said that after they drank and did lines of cocaine in his condo in July 2009, J.B. wanted to see new tanning equipment at his salon across the street. She had previously worked there for Winner.

In monotone, seemingly rehearsed testimony, Winner described their encounter as consensual. "She was giving me signals all night and we were fooling around." While Winner said he did expose himself to her, he contended that they never had sexual relations, he never forcibly restrained J.B., never hijacked her cell phone and never kept her against her will-all sharply different from the evening that she had described from the witness stand.

J.B. gave play-by-play of a horrific encounter with Winner, during which she said he violently restrained her, bit her, shoved her and forced sex with her. Winner denied all of those accusations-and said they had a professional relationship that became friendly in 2009. Winner testified that he never forced her, pushed her or took her telephone.

Winner also denied any physical contact whatsoever with a second alleged sexual assault victim who testified for the prosecution this week to substantiate a pattern of criminal behavior.

That woman, identified by the initials S.M., testified that Winner grabbed and manhandled her during an encounter in December 2012 and forced pills down her throat. She claimed to have blacked out after Winner pushed her on a bed, got on top of her and pinned her down.

Winner denied all of those accusations. "Did you do anything at all to S.M.?" asked Winner's attorney Steven Weinberg. "No," replied Winner.

Taking the witness stand in his own defense, Winner opened himself up to a pointed cross-examination by assistant Cook County state's attorney Mikki Miller.

That testimony was underway Thursday afternoon.

"Tell me about who made the first move" Miller said to Winner focusing on the night with J.B.

"I might have. It was mutual" said Winner. "We were both kissing each other."

Winner said alleged victim, J.B., took off her own underwear.

The alleged serial rapist generously peppered his answers with, "I don't recall," "I don't know," and "I don't remember."

But through the cross-examination he steadfastly denied any of the criminal conduct that has been alleged by authorities, and pinned back all allegations onto the victims, their misunderstanding or the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Winner kept his cool during Thursday afternoon's testimony-even during the sometimes rapid-fire cross-examination. His fiery temper did not bubble up, as it did two years ago when he attacked an I-Team crew on the front steps of the criminal courthouse.

The defense rested-having put on just one main witness-the defendant Winner. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday at 11am and Judge Carol Howard has said that she will announce her verdict next Tuesday. Winner eschewed a jury trial in this case and it was heard by Judge Howard, who denied his request on Wednesday for a directed verdict of acquittal.

ABC7 will have a complete report coming up on ABC7 Eyewitness News at 4:30 p.m.
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