Crime

Longtime El Patron owner, facing rape charges, posts bond for release

Longtime Kansas City restaurant owner Arturo Cabral, facing rape charges in Jackson County Circuit Court, posted bond Monday to be released from jail, according to court records.

Cabral, 45, had been in custody at the Jackson County jail since January, when he was arrested and charged with three counts of rape. Jackson County prosecutors have accused Cabral of sexually assaulting two women during separate incidents in 2015 and 2016.

On Monday, Cabral posted a $50,000 cash bond — 10 percent of the full bond amount of $500,000 — which allows his release on house arrest, according to court records. The bond conditions say Cabral is not to drink alcohol, drive a vehicle or have contact with any witnesses or victims in the case.

Cabral’s release had been a matter of contention in court hearings earlier this year, when about 20 relatives of victims in the case packed a courtroom to oppose a bond reduction sought by Cabral’s attorney.

After learning of Cabral’s pending release on Monday, a relative of one of the victims said: “It’s a shame. He doesn’t deserve to be out.”

Cabral was still in custody Monday afternoon, and it was unclear when he would be released.

In a bond hearing in February, arguments centered on the strength of the state’s case against Cabral, the possibility that he could flee to Mexico and the whereabouts of a gun safe reportedly stolen from his home while he was in custody.

A judge denied the bond reduction.

Cabral had been the longtime owner of El Patron on Southwest Boulevard, but a spokeswoman for the restaurant has said he no longer owns the business.

One of the alleged victims, a 19-year-old, reportedly told police that Cabral raped her at his house in the Coleman Highlands neighborhood of Kansas City last June. In court, the woman was described as a longtime family friend of Cabral.

The state’s evidence includes text messages Cabral and the woman exchanged after the alleged incident. Prosecutors said the messages told of a rape, while Cabral’s attorney Dan Ross has said they indicated a consensual encounter and a threat of a rape allegation.

The other alleged victim, a 32-year-old woman, told Kansas City police that she woke up in a hotel room hours after meeting Cabral for drinks, with no memory of what happened. A sexual assault examination turned up DNA matching Cabral, according to court documents.

Ross said Cabral still owned multiple homes and that, if released, he would reside at one of them in the Kansas City area. Ross said he would prefer not to specify the location in open court because Cabral had received threats.

Cabral is scheduled to face trial March 5.

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