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UPDATE: Damien McCray pleaded not guilty in Racine County Court May 17 after being charged with sexual assault and incest. A status conference has been scheduled for 9 a.m. July 19.

ORIGINAL STORY RACINE, Wis – The owner of the popular restaurant Taste of Soul 262 could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of the sexual assault charges filed against him last month.

On April 12, 2022, Damien McCray was charged in Racine County Circuit Court with four felony counts of second-degree sexual assault with domestic abuse assessments and four felony counts of incest.

If convicted of all charges, he could face up to 170 years in prison and/or up to $500,000 in fines.

Original complaint filed

Online court records indicate a sexual assault case was originally filed against McCray on May 17, 2021, but was dismissed. At that time, he was charged with one felony count of attempted second degree sexual assault one felony count of false imprisonment, one misdemeanor battery, all of which have a domestic abuse enhancer. He posted the $10,500 cash bond on the same day.

DNA results had not been included in the 2021 criminal complaint, and as such, the state believed it could not meet it’s burden; the case was dismissed without prejudice on Oct. 18, 2021.

Incident leads to police encounter

According to the updated criminal complaint, McCray called the police on May 9, 2021, because he said a female family member damaged his restaurant and his vehicle. Officers questioned the woman who admitted she had caused the damage but only after she confronted McCray about an incident that happened in August of 2019, and he not only prevented her from leaving the restaurant but also tried to assault her sexually again.

Police say the woman had various injuries consistent with an attack on her person. She explained to police that in August of 2019, McCray assaulted her at a home in Racine by forcing her to have intercourse with him and to perform oral sex on him. She said when she escaped, she informed McCray’s wife and went to the hospital for a forensic examination, including swabbing for DNA.

The results of those tests from the Wisconsin State Crime Lab stated it was using “the strongest opinions the crime lab can give” that the samples taken from the woman revealed “very strong support for inclusion” of McCray as the perpetrator.

The confrontation as told by the victim

The woman said she had finally built up the courage in May of 2021 to confront McCray about the August 2019 incident, and she became angry when he blamed her for telling his wife and that she “wasn’t loyal to the family,” the complaint continues. After the woman started damaging furniture in the restaurant, she said McCray held her against the pool table and the floor. At one point, she said he had her mouth open and attempted to assault her again sexually, but she bit him. The confrontation continued into the kitchen, where McCray held the woman in a chokehold and by her throat against the wall.

Police say the woman asked McCray about his end game, and when he told her he was trying to figure out how to handle things, she feared for her life. Eventually, McCray let the woman go, and after she exited the building, she threw a bottle through the restaurant’s window and jumped on his car repeatedly.

Preliminary hearing leads to future arraignment

A $50,000 warrant was issued for McCray’s arrest, and he turned himself in. At his initial appearance on April 14, he was assigned a $2,500 cash bond and a $25,000 signature bond and ordered not to have any contact with the alleged assault victim in this case. His preliminary hearing on April 27 concluded there was enough evidence to bind McCray over for trial. His next court date is May 17 for his arraignment.


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Editor’s note: This version of the story clarifies that the name of the restaurant is Taste of Soul 262, which is not affiliated with Taste of Soul Chicken and Seafood.