Gary Kitchings is the Uber driver who was recently sentenced to 22 years in prison for the rape of one his passengers. At 58 years of age, Kitchings had no prior record and had worked many of those years as a foster parent to some of Florida’s most vulnerable children. That image is difficult to rectify against the heinous crime he was accused of committing.
Kitchings picked the woman and two of her friends up from a Sunfest music and art festival in West Palm Beach. After the two friends had been dropped off, Kitchings became forward about his desire for the woman, which in turn made her nervous. That’s when she says Kitchings unzipped his pants and began touching her between her legs.
Prosecutors said Kitchings forced the woman to perform sex acts after he had locked her in the car. The woman testified that Kitchings told her that he had a gun in the car. When he got to her home, she says she ran to the door and screamed. Kitchings came up behind her and forced his way in. He told her that if she didn’t do everything that he told her, that he would kill her and her dogs.
After Kitchings left, the woman immediately called 911 and told them she had been raped by a man named Gary.
Gary Kitchings’ Defense
Rape trials are very difficult for both prosecutors and victims. More often than not, there isn’t enough evidence to get a conviction. Rape allegations rarely result in convictions. For every 1000 rapes, 994 rapists walk free. Often, prosecutors are left attempting to prove that the victim did not consent.
The defense team responded to these allegations by arguing that the victim did indeed consent. They characterized the interlude as a one night stand and attempted to portray Kitchings as the victim, being accused of very serious allegations from an unstable woman who has a history of making rape allegations against men.
The defense painted Kitchings as a man who had done years of good giving a home to vulnerable foster children, a man with no criminal record.
The prosecution countered by pointing out that Kitchings had a “sex kit” in his car that he used to troll for women while on the job for Uber. The sex kit contained condoms and lubricant.
The prosecution described a man who was leading a double life, a burgeoning sexual predator who frequented prostituted and had vile fantasies about women. The defense described a man who devoted his life to giving wayward children a place to live and had no criminal record.
Kitchings was convicted on three counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon or physical force and sentenced to 22 years which is below the state recommendation of 26 years for a case like this.
The defense plans to appeal the conviction based on the fact that the jury was never made aware of the rape case that happened in New York.
If you’ve been accused of a crime, you are entitled to the best defense available under the law. The West Palm Beach attorneys of Skier Law Firm, P.A help those accused of crimes get an honest chance to defend themselves against their accusers. Give us a call at (561) 220-3355 or contact us online, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.