The owner and operator of an Evanston kickboxing-themed fitness studio franchise “9 ROUND FITNESS” at 1706 Central Street in Evanston has been ordered held in Cook County jail without bail for almost two months after his arrest on charges of criminal sexual assault, home invasion and other charges in November 2018. The suspect, Kenneth Battinus, also worked as a fitness trainer at the Arlington Heights “9 ROUND FITNESS” location at 15 South Dunton Avenue, and at a newer location at 7 South Evergreen Avenue in Arlington Heights.
Evanston firefighters were on the scene of a minor fire in the laundry room of an apartment building in the block of 1400 Chicago Avenue about 9:15 p.m. Sunday November 11, 2018. A woman emerged from the apartment building, approached the firefighters, and said that a man had just forced his way into her apartment and sexually assaulted her.
The 34-year-old female resident of the apartment building identified a male suspect as her attacker as he was attempting to leave the scene.
Firefighters, who were outside the apartment building, had heard her shouting for help through an open window. Later, at least one firefighter grabbed the suspect as he tried to leave, according to Evanston police. The female victim said she was able to push the male suspect into a television, and run out of her apartment unit. Fire department personnel detained the male suspect until Evanston police officers arrived.
The female victim reported to police that she heard fire alarms sounding in her building and had opened the door to her apartment to evacuate. While her door was open, she said she was confronted by the suspect. She told police he forced his way into her apartment and pulled down his pants.
The female victim said the suspect tried to remove her pants and sexually assaulted her as they struggled in her apartment before she escaped.
The suspect on the scene was identified as Kenneth A. Battinus, age 41, a resident at 902 West Greenwood Street in Evanston — another apartment building located about three blocks west of the fire scene and crime scene.
Kenneth Battinus was arrested at 1400 Chicago Avenue in Evanston at 9:54 p.m. Sunday November 11, 2018, and was initially charged with criminal sexual assault.
Following a thorough investigation, Kenneth Battinus has been charged with 16 criminal counts.
Home Invasion/Sex Offense (2 counts)
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault/Bodily Harm (2 counts)
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault Felony (4 counts)
Criminal Sexual Assault/Force (2 counts)
Residential Burglary (3 counts)
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (2 counts)
Criminal Sexual Abuse/Force (1 count)
Battinus has been incarcerated at Cook County Jail since November 13, 2018, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. The woman, who accused Battinus of sexual assault said she had previously seen him in the area, but was not acquainted with Battinus.
Hours before the alleged attack on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2018, @9RoundEvanston posted a tweet that connected a 9 ROUND FITNESS business promotion to an image of Battinus in his military uniform. The tweet said “IN honor of Veteran’s Day, Our 9Round Evanston Owner/Operator Ken Batinus invites you to get 2 mnth of unlimited training, no class times, and a personal trainer. All for the price of 1 month. Purchase equipment for $25 (value $60).”
The Evanston 9 ROUND FITNESS location was opened about 3.5 years after the Arlington Heights location for 9 ROUND FITNESS, which initially opened at 15 South Dunton Avenue in Arlington Heights on September 12, 2012. The Arlington Heights business (Twitter.com/9RChicagoland) moved to 7 South Evergreen Avenue in 2018.
Evanston police investigators believe the incident was a crime of opportunity and police say that the female resident had not been specifically targeted. Police officers on the scene reported Battinus appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the incident. The next court date for Kenneth Battinus is February 6, 2019 at Cook County Circuit Court in Skokie.
Battinus was profiled in both the Arlington Heights and the Evanston fitness business locations with an online biography describing Battinus as an amateur boxer and veteran of the US Army Airborne. The bio stated that Ken “Bonecrusher” Battinus is the owner, operator and trainer of the kickboxing-themed fitness gym, and certified as a personal trainer, boxing coach and corner man. According to the 9 ROUND FITNESS application for a special use permit on Central Street in Evanston, Kenneth Battinus is the co-lessee of the location with relatives Jeff Battinus and Jim Battinus.
Jeff Battinus is well-known in the northwest suburban community, previously serving as a board member with Wheeling Township and School District 21. Formerly of Buffalo Grove, Jeff Battinus resigned from the Wheeling Township board after announcing in May 2018 that he and his wife Mary Battinus, the Republican nominee in the 57th state House District race, were moving out of Illinois. Jeff Battinus won a position in the election to the Wheeling Township board in May 2017, and previously served on the Community Consolidated School Board District 21. Jeff Battinus also has served with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
^^ MOBILE? USE VOICE MIC ^^
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According to the franchise website, 9 ROUND FITNESS has two ownership models — Semi-Absentee Owner and Owner-Operator. The franchise has over 700 locations worldwide, according to their website.