Jupiter Uber driver charged with sexual battery, kidnapping, & burglary
Gary Kitchings was arrested for kidnapping, sexual battery, and burglary. The victim alleges she was picked up from SunFest by the Uber driver and that he began flirting with her after he dropped off two other women. She says Kitchings tried to fondle her and she pushed him away, that he tried to push her hand into his lap and she pulled back, and that ultimately he forced her to perform a sex act on her in the car. She claims he then drove her home, pushed her inside her house and raped her. She also says he threatened to kill her multiple times.
It does not appear Kitchings has ever been in trouble before.
Kitchings faces a possible life sentence for the kidnapping charge and additional fifteen years for the sexual battery charge. The burglary will probably be filed in such a way that he faces a possible life sentence for that count as well.
Kitchings’ defense will likely be one of three things: it never happened at all; it did happen, but he didn’t do it, or the victim consented to the sexual acts. It will be interesting to see what physical evidence the police collected because the physical evidence could tell us quite a bit about what actually happened. For instance, if there were injuries to the woman consistent with a struggle, such evidence suggests the acts were not consensual. That is not to say she couldn’t have consented to rough sex, but it is certainly less likely and therefore more difficult for a jury to believe. Also, if police collected DNA evidence (like semen or blood) that puts Kitchings in her home, on her bed, or touching her body, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to argue Kitchings was not present. There is simply no legal reason an Uber driver’s blood or semen should be in your home unless you invited him in. If that were the case, Kitchings would almost have to argue that the acts she alleged were consensual. If the police collected no physical evidence, then this case could become much better for Kitchings. While the prosecution could prove its case only on the word of the victim, it will be much more difficult for them to do so.
Even without physical evidence, the prosecutor may have a strong case. Often, police will attempt to obtain a statement from the defendant in these cases. If Kitchings admitted to raping the victim or gave a statement inconsistent with other evidence in the case, he could have difficulty defending against these accusations.
One thing is certain: Gary Kitchings needs the best lawyer he can afford and he needs that lawyer now.