Uncle Kracker disputes sex assault charge


MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. -- Uncle Kracker says he didn't sexually assault a woman in a North Carolina nightclub, and he's not entirely happy that he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault to avoid a trial.

The 33-year-old singer, whose real name is Matthew Shafer, told the Detroit News and the Oakland Press of Pontiac on Monday that he struck a 26-year-old woman after she hit him. He said it started when he bumped into her during a party after a concert in Raleigh in August.

Authorities alleged Shafer had put his hand up the woman's skirt at the club.

She later reported the incident to an off-duty police officer.

Shafer pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor assault charge. A judge sentenced him to 12 months' probation, fined him $1,500 and ordered him to undergo an alcohol assessment.

"There was no sexual anything involved," Shafer told the News.

"Assault is a far cry from sexual battery. You can either wait a year, spend 150 grand, go to trial, make more of a debacle out of it, or you can get it over with," he said.

Shafer said he regrets the incident, but he's not sorry about his reaction to being struck.

Shafer, a Michigan native, is a former disc jockey for Kid Rock. His hits include a duet with Kenny Chesney, "When the Sun Goes Down."