Uncle Kracker Arrested

Matthew Shafer, aka rock-country musician Uncle Kracker, was arrested early Friday on a charge of second-degree sex offense stemming from an incident at a nightclub, authorities said.

The Michigan native was being held on a $5 million bond after being arrested at a hotel in suburban Cary, said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue. The accuser and Shafer were not acquaintances, Sughrue said in a written statement.

Sughrue said a 26-year-old woman told a Raleigh police officer working off-duty at Ess Lounge, a downtown nightclub, that a man committed a sexual act against her while she was inside the club. That officer and others investigated and obtained a warrant charging Shafer with second-degree forcible sex offense, Sughrue said.

The arrest warrant stated the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that Shafer “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did engage in a sexual act other than vaginal intercourse” by force and against the accuser’s will.

Cary police officers detained Shafer at the Embassy Suites in Cary until Raleigh officers arrived and took him to the Wake County Jail, Sughrue said.

Shafer, 33, was scheduled to perform Thursday night at the Ess Lounge, according to the nightclub’s Web site.

He was to appear in court Friday afternoon, Wake County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Phyllis Stevens said. A message left with his listed agency in Nashville, Tenn., was not immediately returned, and a number for his listed management company in Harrison Township, Mich., was disconnected.

Shafer’s hits include a duet with country music star Kenny Chesney, “When the Sun Goes Down,” for which Chesney was nominated for an Academy of Country Music Award in 2005.

A former disc jockey for rock musician Kid Rock, Shafer also won acclaim for “Follow Me” and a cover version of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away.”