MO State HS Sports

Columbia physician charged with rape to go on trial in early December

38-year-old Dr. Travis Birkhead is charged with felony rape or attempted rape and misdemeanor assault (October 2022 mug shot courtesy of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department)

A December jury trial has been set for a Columbia doctor charged with raping a woman he met last fall at the Black and Gold tavern on the Business Loop.

Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane has scheduled a December 6 jury trial for 38-year-old Dr. Travis Birkhead, who’s charged with rape or attempted rape and misdemeanor assault.

939 the Eagle News has been at the Boone County Courthouse for several hearings in this case. Defense attorney Kevin O’Brien told Judge Crane in open court in January that the woman wouldn’t leave Birkhead’s house that night, saying she “went crazy.” O’Brien has told the court there was no sexual assault and that Birkhead was the one who called Columbia Police to ask the woman to leave his home. Boone County prosecutors disagree: they’ve told Judge Crane in open court that Dr. Birkhead is a danger to the community and that he has a history of threatening people. They’ve also said that Birkhead’s ex-wife, a different woman, is terrified of him.

Birkhead was released from the Boone County jail in May, after posting a $50,000 surety bond. He is hooked up to GPS monitoring, under Judge Crane’s order.