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Singer Pleads Guilty; Gets Probation in Bar Incident

Posted September 28, 2007

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— Country-rock-rap artist Uncle Kracker pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor assault on a female and was sentenced to a year of probation in connection with an incident last month at a downtown Raleigh nightclub.

Police arrested the singer, whose real name is Matthew Shafer, on Aug. 17 at the Embassy Suites in Cary after a 26-year-old woman accused him of committing a sex act against her at the Ess Lounge at 326 W. Davie St. in Raleigh. He was charged with felony second-degree forcible sex offense.

Judge Craig Croom sentenced the entertainer to a 60-day suspended jail sentence, alcohol assessment and a $1,500 fine. Because of his career, Shafer, 33, will be allowed to travel. He will serve his probation in Michigan, where he lives.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Adam Moyers said Shafer, 33, who was in town for a performance at a downtown depot party, stumbled down some steps, put his hand under the woman's skirt and touched her "buttocks and vaginal area."

"She turned around, Mr. Shafer was standing behind her, they exchanged some words, and she slapped him, at which point, he slapped her back," Moyers said.

Police said the two did not know each other.

Known for songs such as the 2001 single "Follow Me" and a 2002 cover of the 1973 Dobie Gray single "Drift Away," Shafer was originally jailed under a $5 million bond after he told officers he would immediately leave North Carolina to avoid prosecution.

A judge later reduced the bond to $75,000, saying the higher amount was outside the guidelines for the charge Shafer faced.

Shafer's plea to the lesser charge is an Alford plea, which allows a defendant to plead guilty while still maintaining his innocence. It acknowledges that there is evidence against him for a judge or jury possibly to convict him.

"He didn't want this thing to drag on anymore. He maintains that he didn't do anything intentionally," Shafer's defense attorney, James Crouch, said. "He regrets the entire situation."

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  • The Dude Sep 29, 2007

    Just grabbing her in that area would probably be Assault on Female. He must have gone "deeper" than that to be initially charged with a felony. But it sounds like most of you are just ready to cast the girl off as a money grubbing tramp. For him to take a plea deal means he and Crouch had to have recognized that there was enough evidence to convict him. I know Crouch well enough to know that he's not going to recommend a plea if all the only evidence is the statement of a drunk female victim. Use your heads people. He's got a chunk of money coming to this girl. Pretty sure he's not going to cop to that if Crouch thought he was innocent & could beat the evidence.

  • Phlootang Sep 29, 2007

    Oldest story in the books; Boy meets girl, boy stumbles down stairs, boy grabs buttocks and vaginal area, boy gets slapped, boy slaps girl, and boy pays some meaningless penalty. I feel bad for the girl, she should have either rammed a knee to the groin or at least settled for some of this guy's 13 dollars and 26 cents just laying there in his bank account.

  • strolling bones Sep 29, 2007

    hmmm i think if he had not slapped her back ...the whole issue would have been settled right then...i have been in a lot of bars and low life honky tonks....had my bottom grabbed a few times...a good elbow to the ribs or a good smack upside the head always settled it..but no one has ever reached up my skirt while following down the steps...most drunks dont have that kinda tumbling talent...now there is a difference to me between a slap on the bottom and a grab...a slap gets a growl most of the time...i dont care for slaps but hey...its a bar...its a honky tonk...you takez your chances...

  • RWC Sep 29, 2007

    Idiot

  • ifcdirector Sep 29, 2007

    America's best Buddy Hackett impersonator. Hey nightclub owners! Promote illiterate drunken trash to represent you in your clubs and take a wild guess at what kind of resulting customers you will attract? It's hard to believe that anyone with any modicum of cool or intelligence thinks that anyone like this represents anything cool or remotely classy.

  • luckys313 Sep 29, 2007

    I guess he was laying on his back after the fall and grabbed her rear as she stepped over him and while he was trying to get up that led his hands to slip off as he tried to grip her cheeks and of course the forward motion of her stepping and gravity contributed to his hands reaching into the lips of her vagina while trying to get a grip RIGHT?

  • ranquick Sep 29, 2007

    and and and he is ugly, I hope she shues him in civil court now

  • ranquick Sep 29, 2007

    It I had accidently touch her I be in jail right now, just shows what some money can get you

  • oldschool Sep 28, 2007

    He "stumbled down some steps, put his hand under the woman's skirt and touched her "buttocks and vaginal area."

    lol. When I was a DA, my response to the defense attorney would have been "If that's your client's story, he'd better come up with a lie that makes some sense."

    Even so, the result os probably appropriate. Although being drunk and stupid isn't a defense, he was probably convicted of the crime he was guilty of.

  • likemenow Sep 28, 2007

    RE:"OK, How the heck do you fall downstairs and accidentally grab a womans backside and vagina?"...male here..it doesn't happen accidentally..heck, we gotta be extremely lucky for it to happen at all......lol

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