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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The former owner of the now-closed Rockstar Burgers in the West Bottoms is facing new charges. This time in Jackson County.

Brian Smith, 44, is facing charges related to a 2019 alleged rape and assault at his West Bottoms loft.

The Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s office formally charged Smith in December 2021. He is charged with two felonies, one count of rape or attempted rape and one count of first-degree assault or attempted assault.

Smith spent the past two years in custody on unrelated charges. Currently, he’s being held in federal custody, awaiting trial in a drug trafficking conspiracy case from October 2020.

New allegations

According to court documents, Smith knowingly had sexual intercourse with the victim who was incapacitated and unable to knowingly consent. Records also state Smith attempted to cause serious injury to the victim by strangulation.

The Kansas City Police Department told prosecutors they received a call on April 7, 2019, about a car crash at the Rockstar Burgers former location on Genessee Street.

The driver told officers she thought she was raped the night before by Brian Smith, court documents say. She was in a confused state and was treated at a hospital. The case was eventually inactivated due to lack of contact with the victim.

In December 2019, the victim reached out to KCPD saying she would like to move forward with the investigation.

The victim told investigators she was at Club Aura when she ran into Smith and his former girlfriend. She told police she was intoxicated before she ran into them, and the last thing she remembered was them inviting her back to Smith’s loft in the West Bottoms, court documents say.

She said she woke up around 11 a.m. the next morning with Smith’s former girlfriend accusing her of sleeping with Smith. She realized she was not clothed and asked Smith if they had slept together.

The victim said Smith told her they had, and she told investigators she told Smith she had not wanted to sleep with him.

Court documents state Smith then struck the victim in the face, causing her to fall backward and hit her head. The victim told investigators due to the fall she became even more disoriented and left the loft with only a shirt on. As she tried to leave, due to her state of mind she wrecked her car and contacted police.

Two weeks after the incident, the victim told police Smith reached out to her on Facebook Messenger where she again told him she hadn’t intended to sleep with him, court documents say. Smith allegedly responded to her saying, “U were lit. I was lit,” which indicates they were both intoxicated at the time of the incident.

In November 2019, Smith again contacted the victim, charging documents say, and she indicated he had assaulted her during the April incident. Smith replied, “I did not. I pushed you with open palm.”

Later in the month, court documents say Smith again reached out to the victim saying, “Keep saying I raped you, but I have all the video.” The victim told investigators Smith had surveillance videos placed throughout his loft.

Search warrant

On Dec. 5 that year, Smith was arrested at a home on Kansas City’s east side in relation to a Platte County case of domestic abuse and armed criminal action against his former girlfriend. During that arrest, officers confiscated two iPhones from Smith as possible evidence.

On Dec. 9, tactical officers and detectives searched Smith’s loft with a warrant. During the search, they went into Smith’s bedroom and found a video surveillance system in a storage room. However, they did not located files from the time of the alleged rape.

Police then sent the iPhones to a crime laboratory. Investigators found more than 700,000 photos and videos between the two phones. Two videos on one iPhone were found to be related to the alleged rape, court documents say.

The first was from Smith’s security video in the loft. It showed the victim and Smith’s former girlfriend in a verbal and slightly physical altercation.

Charging documents say at one point Smith puts himself between the women and shoves the victim aggressively to the ground and her head hits on a wooden desk. Prosecutors say Smith is seen grabbing the victim by her left arm. She is able to swing at him, and he backs away and then grabs her by the neck and pushes her against the desk pinning her between the desk and wall. She eventually is able to kick him off of her. He then is seen pushing her to the ground two more times before the video cuts off.

The second video is taken from the Rockstar Burgers parking lot as the victim is being arrested by officers after her car accident.

Reporting sexual assault

The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault said it’s difficult for victims of assault to come forward when they fear they won’t be believed.

“When there’s alcohol involved and a survivor might not remember all the details and there might be some gaps in memory, those things are harder to explain when you have to report them to law enforcement,” said Brandy Williams, the organization’s director of education.

She said consent should be considered an enthusiastic yes, and when alcohol or drugs become involved, consent can be difficult to determine or taken away altogether.

“Consent needs to be clear, and it needs to be an enthusiastic yes. When drugs are alcohol are involved, that gets diluted and cloudy, and I feel like consent is not there anymore,” Williams said.

In this case, police said there is video evidence of the alleged crime, which Williams said is rare when it comes to sexual assault cases.

“Whenever there’s any sort of tangible proof so to speak, which is rare when it comes to sexual assault, I think that is then going to impact the victim in a positive way and allow them to feel a little more empowered in what those memories were and then help them move forward,” Williams said.

However, despite the physical evidence, Williams said when it comes to reporting sexual assault, it’s difficult for victims to go through the court process.

“There’s a lot of emotional tolls that take place for a survivor from the actual experience itself, to deciding whether or not to report, and deciding where to get support from and then having to wait for those long periods of time for the criminal justice system to hopefully hold someone accountable can be really difficult,” Williams said.

She believes for any victim to come forward and face their abuser is an act of bravery.

“I just think anyone who comes forward is full of courage. I hope they lean into that courage. I hope the survivor leans into that and has the support they need,” Williams said.

Federal drug trafficking case

Smith is also facing federal charges, along with charges in Platte and Jackson counties.

In his federal case, he is among 18 people indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 10 kilograms of heroin, valued at more than $1.7 million.

The federal indictment alleges that all 18 suspects participated in a conspiracy from Jan. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2020, to distribute more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 10 kilograms of heroin.

All of the suspects are also charged in a money-laundering conspiracy involving the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

Two of the 18 suspects are now sentenced with one other awaiting sentencing. Smith is awaiting trial in this case set to start in June.

Accusations of violence and abuse

In Platte County, Smith is facing a charge of domestic violence and armed criminal action.

On Nov. 24, 2019, Smith allegedly showed up where his ex-girlfriend was living in Parkville. While she was sleeping, court documents say Smith burst through her locked bedroom door and began beating her with a handgun, which he regularly carried in his waist band.

Eric Zahnd, Platte County prosecuting attorney, said his case will go forward once his federal trial is done.

“That’s a very serious charge. We allege not only did he hit her, but he hit her with a weapon, a handgun. Again, he is innocent until proven guilty, but they’re very serious charges,” Zahnd said.

He said the federal prosecutor handling that case used to work with him, and they’ve already started planning on how they will schedule their separate cases.

“We often have cases that we handle together and often have defendants in common,” Zahnd said.

In Jackson County, Smith is also facing charges of animal abuse and sex with an animal. The case was filed in July 2020 while Smith was already in custody for his domestic violence case.

FOX4 spoke with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office about how they plan to move forward with both cases in their county against Smith. A representative with the office said it could go a number of ways at this point, but the federal case would need to be handled first.

What’s next?

If convicted in his newest case, Smith would have to serve 85% of the sentence on both charges before he would be eligible for parole. The charge of assault is a Class B felony, which could equate to 5-15 years in prison.

The charge of rape is currently considered unclassified. However, if convicted to the highest level in Missouri, a Class A felony for rape holds a sentence of 10-30 years in jail or life imprisonment. The lowest level conviction would equate to a level a misdemeanor of less than a year in jail or less and a $1,000.00 fine.


If you are a victim of sexual assault and need help, there are advocates ready to listen and help guide you.

The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault can help and has crisis lines for those in need. In Missouri you can reach them at 816-531-0233 and in Kansas you can reach them at 913-642-0233.