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Columbia rape suspect’s bond set at $1 million during Friday hearing


A Boone County judge gave a Columbia rape suspect a $1 million cash-only bond at a hearing on Friday.

Judge Kevin Crane gave Travis Birkhead, 37, the chance to post a bond to get out of the Boone County Jail. Birkhead, of Columbia, previously had no bond while he faces charges of rape and assault.

Prosecutors claim Birkhead took a woman behind a bar on East Business Loop 70 in October and sexually assaulted her. Columbia police said surveillance video showed the woman having difficulty standing up while the two went out of view. Columbia police claim Birkhead texted another person that he had sex with the alleged victim behind the bar.

Birkhead's attorney, Kevin O'Brien, claimed that Birkhead had no prior criminal convictions and was a practicing doctor in Columbia before his arrest. O'Brien argued that Birkhead and the woman went back to his place when they left the bar. He later called police, and later her friend, to remove her from the place.

O'Brien said he does not reside in Boone County, meaning he and the woman would likely not see each other while he was out on bond.

Prosecutors claim the woman, though, was scared at the prospect at Birkhead being released from jail. Birkhead also faces criminal charges for allegedly violating a protection order his ex-wife had against him in 2022.

Birkhead tried pleading with Crane via video -- from the Boone County Jail -- over his bond decision due to his children's upcoming birthdays. O'Brien advised him to stay quiet during the hearing. Birkhead is due back in court on March 17.

In another case, Birkhead is charged with first-degree harassment and violating an order of protection. A hearing is scheduled in that case for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21.

He also has another charge for violating an order of protection. A hearing in that case is set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. Birkhead is also charged with first-degree harassment in another case. An arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 6.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.


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