Local News

Uncle Kracker's Bond Reduced to $75,000

Posted August 17, 2007

— A district judge on Friday reduced the bond of singer Matthew Shafer, also known as Uncle Kracker, from $5 million to $75,000 following Shafer's arrest early Friday on a sex charge.

Shafer, a platinum record-selling country-rock-rap artist, was arrested at the Embassy Suites in Cary on a charge of second-degree forcible sex offense at about 4:45 a.m., police said.

A 26-year-old woman approached an off-duty officer at the Ess Lounge, at 326 W. Davie St. in Raleigh, saying Shafer committed a sex act against her while she was inside the establishment, police said. Shafer and the woman were not acquaintances, police said.

In a statement to People magazine, Shafer said: "It's regrettable that someone would make this kind of allegation, not only because it's not the kind of thing I'd do, as the father of two girls, it's the kind of thing that I wouldn't stand for."

Shafer, known for hits like "Follow Me," and "When the Sun Goes Down" – his duet with country star Kenny Chesney – was in Raleigh  to appear at Thursday night's Downtown Depot Party to celebrate the redevelopment of an area around the train station.

"Who this person is doesn't matter. It's what has happened that matters," said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

According to a state statute, second-degree forcible sexual offense involves sexual acts, which do not include vaginal intercourse, with a person by force and against the will of the other person, or with a person who the perpetrator knows is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.

"It is not rape, and other than that, that statute on sexual offenses covers a wide range of inappropriate behavior," Sughrue said, declining to be more specific about the allegation against Shafer.

Cary police detained Shafer at the Embassy Suites until Raleigh officers arrived to serve the arrest warrant.

The management of Ess Lounge issued a statement Friday afternoon, calling the incident "a very unfortunate turn of events on what was a great night in downtown Raleigh."

"We have never had any allegations like this before, and we consider our place of business to be a very safe environment," the statement said. "We need to let the investigation work through the process. If called upon, we will fully cooperate with local authorities in regards to (the) investigation."

More than a dozen security officers, including Raleigh police officers, were at the lounge Thursday night until after it closed, the managers said in the statement.

The $5 million bond was set after Shafer told arresting officers that he would immediately fly back to Michigan to avoid prosecution, according to the conditions of release order filed by a Wake County magistrate. The order also stated that Shafer has "major assets at his disposal" and the court considers him to be an "exceptionally high flight risk."

But District Judge Jane Gray ruled a $5 million bond is outside the guidelines for a Class C felony like the charge against Shafer. The bond should have been between $50,000 and $200,000, she said.

Gray set the bond at $75,000 during a Friday afternoon hearing, with the stipulation that Shafer have no contact with the accuser.

His next court date is set for Sept. 24.


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  • ladyblue Aug 18, 2007

    It is not rape, and other than that, that statute on sexual offenses covers a wide range of inappropriate behavior," Sughrue said, declining to be more specific about the allegation against Shafer who is with the Raleigh police department. Why don't you posters give this guy a chance to allow his case to come out in the open. You have no idea what this is about. He is a upcoming musician and not a local yokel. you have to have been inappropriate to a handicapped or mentally ill person to get these charges. Why would someone who has a wife and children of his own need to mess with a handicapped person? Let the facts come out and then make judgments. I thought we learned something with the Duke case already..

  • nisa5759 Aug 18, 2007

    It's kind of sad that everyone is making judgements on both of them and even comparing them to the Duke situation. Didn't everyone learn from that. Let's just let all of this shake out in court after all of the evidence has been heard. And he should keep his mouth shut so he doesn't make his situation worse.

    Folks, the ink isn't even completely dry on the Duke/Nifong fiasco and already we're rushing to judgement. How soon we forget

  • madbrewdawg Aug 18, 2007

    cghsmom: I don't want you to misunderstand me - I was quoting someone else's post, I don't think there is anything wrong with a Ford or a Hyundai, I actually drive a Ford Windstar myself.

    buckos18: You must not have read the article, it plainly states that "More than a dozen security officers, including Raleigh police officers, were at the lounge Thursday night until after it closed, the managers said in the statement." Also if an accuser makes a claim against an accused they immediately will detain that individual, investigate both sides & decide on arrest. However, once an accuser decides they want to press charges against someone and they swear that what they are saying is the truth, then an arrest is made and the investigation happens afterwards. It is just like going to the magistrate's office to swear out a warrant, the accused has no opportunity to prove his/her innocence & ask for an investigation prior to the arrest but are forced to do so afterwards to prove their innoce

  • djofraleigh Aug 18, 2007

    What do you think Uncle's nephew thinks of this?

  • cnaatmg Aug 17, 2007

    I agree with grenlyn1 IF this really happen why didnt some she report this early I think its about hey iam on TV and needing money, he could get any women he want too he's now bad looking and he has plenty of money and why woule he want to come to Cary and do this. I DONT FEEL THAT THERE IS ANYTHING TO THIS!!!!

  • SaltlifeLady Aug 17, 2007

    Buckos--I have been in plenty of bars and nightclubs where RPD officers-uniformed and nonuniformed have been inside. Not sure where you got your info from. In fact, I know of atleast one nightclub (where I have gone with a police officer friend) that if there is a scuffle, the bouncers will step aside and let the cops handle it b/c there are so many of them in there.

    madbrewdawg--nothing wrong with a Hyundai. They are some of the best and safest cars on the road today with some of the lowest insurance rates around.

    to the rest--I know we all have the Duke LAX case in mind, but at the same time, not everyone is a Crystal Mangum, and if this was your daughter, sister, wife or friend you would want them to arrest someone who was accused. They will do an investigation and look into her story, and his. But don't you all think its too early to say she's lying or he's innocent?? Let the law sort it out.

  • buckos18 Aug 17, 2007

    madbrew....i don't know all of the facts just as you don't...however...raleigh pd is not allowed inside an establishment that serves alcohol unless there is a serious breach of the peace, so i guarantee they weren't inside the bar...in addition, when someone tells an officer that she was sexually assaulted, i doubt that the officer takes her on her word immediately without questioning her first.....If Kracker knew that he did something wrong, maybe he quickly slid out the back door....I wish it was as simple as you make it sound...a "victim" makes an accusation and the officer goes into a full sprint to catch the alleged suspect....give me a break, there is something called an investigation

  • grenlyn1 Aug 17, 2007

    If this is the case and he did slap her after she slapped him, then why didn't someone intervene at the time? I am sure some man would have come to her defense and stopped him. And it is curious to me, if this is how it happened, why she waited so long before she reported it? I wonder... hummm.

  • terrajns Aug 17, 2007


  • dougalu Aug 17, 2007

    Kracker allegedly put his hand up a womans skirt after his show at the bar. The woman slapped him and then Kracker slapped her back.