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Owner of tanning salon charged in three rapes

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CHICAGO -- The owner of a West Loop tanning salon is now charged with criminal sexual assault in three separate cases.

Allegations against Marc Winner date back at least 15 years.

WGN-TV does not usually identify alleged rape victims, but Lesley Barton says she does not want to hide in the shadows. She lives in Florida now, but in 2001 Barton says Winner drugged her at a bar and choked and raped her at the suburban Glenview tanning salon where he worked.

Winner was originally charged with sexual assault in Barton's case, but after a felony review the charge was changed to battery. He took a plea deal and received two years of probation. He later went on to own the Soleil Tanning Salon in the West Loop.

Last year, Winner was charged with choking and raping a customer at the salon. In 2013, he was charged with raping a former employee. That case was dropped and this week prosecutors re-filed the charges.

On Friday, Winner was charged in a third case from 2012. Prosecutors say a customer who received a  free tan at the salon, fell asleep and woke up to find Winner raping her.

Winner is due in bond court on Saturday. A spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office says authorities are aware of at least 6 alleged victims and is asking anyone with information to come forward.