The woman is sobbing and hysterical.
“I’ve been raped.”
“Stop crying, honey,” the 911 dispatcher says. She can’t.
She says she’s locked in her bedroom “in case the guy comes back.” And, she says, it was her Uber driver. She knows his name: Gary.
But Gary Timothy Kitchings — adoptive father, longtime foster-home “parent,” inspirational blogger, husband to a woman fighting cancer, and, more recently, a driver for the app-based ride-sharing service — insisted to Jupiter police that the encounter in the early hours of May 7, with a passenger he drove home from SunFest, was “fun” and a “fling.”
And that, while adulterous, it was consensual.
And that if the woman said otherwise, she was lying.
“If anyone was the aggressor, it was her,” Kitchings said in an interview with police that’s included in nearly 200 pages of reports that The Palm Beach Post obtained last week from the Palm Beach County State Attorney via a public records request.
“She came on to me and I’m a guy. I’m stupid and I did that,” Kitchings, 57, told investigators.
“I asked what the victim’s motivation would be to have a fun consensual sexual encounter, then hug him goodbye, then call 911 and fake the fear and pain and suffering that she did,” Jupiter police investigator Troy Jenne said in a report. “Kitchings didn’t have an explanation other than the victim made it up.”
The woman alleges Kitchings forced her to perform a sex act in his car. Then, she said, when he dropped her off at her residence in Jupiter, he followed her in, pushed her inside and raped her in her bedroom. Kitchings is charged with two counts each of sexual battery and kidnapping and one of burglary. He remains in the Palm Beach County Jail, held without bail. His trial is tentatively set for October. He is being represented by a public defender; that office declined to comment for this story.
Kitchings is the father of an adopted child and was a “house parent” at KidSanctuary in suburban West Palm Beach. KidSanctuary’s parent agency, Palm Beach Gardens-based Place of Hope, said days after Kitchings’ arrest that it no longer employed him. The father of one child who had been in Kitchings’ care called him “a wonderful foster father.”
The Florida Department of Children and Families conducted a “child protective investigation” into Kitchings’ foster home work. It has refused a public records request by The Post to share its findings, claiming the entire report is exempt from disclosure because some of it deals with children.
In the documents provided by the State Attorney’s Office, the woman told police she used her Uber app just after a Three Doors Down concert on the last Saturday night of SunFest, the art and music festival in downtown West Palm Beach. She said she sat in front and a mother and her 19-year-old daughter sat in back, sharing the ride. Those two women told police the alleged victim might have been a little drunk and “offered too much information about her personal life,” but said they do not feel she ever spoke provocatively. They also said they didn’t notice anything suspicious about Kitchings.
What happened after that?
Detectives detail Kitchings’ calm assertions that his subsequent encounter with the 37-year-old Jupiter woman — whom The Post isn’t identifying — wasn’t forced. Kitchings said he had no criminal past and could not have committed this crime. He offered possible motives for the woman to claim rape, and at one point asked detectives if the woman had been drinking, although he denied she was either drunk or out of control.
But police say many of Kitchings’ assertions are contradicted both by the woman’s account and by detectives’ findings.
— Kitchings’ wife said the couple had a normal love life. But a search of his iPhone found he “was regularly searching dating and escort websites” and was listed at least five such sites. At least 15 texts appear to be contacts with people Kitchings found on the sites.
— Kitchings denied any encounter took place in his car. He said after he dropped off the other two passengers, he and the Jupiter woman, still in the front seat, began chatting. At one point, he said, the woman asked if Kitchings was married and if he’d ever cheated on his wife. He said he told her he wasn’t proud of it but that he had done so a couple of times. Kitchings said the woman touched his leg and at one point said she’d tried to “pick up a guy” at SunFest but it hadn’t worked out. He said the woman was attractive and half his age and he’d been “turned on” by the conversation. But the woman said he forced her into sex acts in the car and never slowed the car down. She said she’d tried to jump out, but Kitchings had locked the doors. She would tell the 911 dispatcher, “I kept screaming, ‘Help!’ but nobody came to help me.”
— The woman said Kitchings had a bulge in his waist band and told her, “I have a gun. Just cooperate (and) nothing will happen,” but that “if you scream, I’ll kill you.” Kitchens denied to police that he ever threatened the woman with a gun and said he didn’t own one. But detectives said they inspected his Facebook account and found “several photos and videos of Kitchings shooting guns.”
— Kitchings said that, once inside the woman’s home, the couple talked and played with her dogs and then went to her bedroom, where the two had a consensual encounter. He said he did not use a condom but had had some in his car and had offered to go get one but the woman had said that wasn’t necessary. Investigators would find lubricant and three condoms in a pouch hidden in the upper left corner of the trunk. But the woman said that, as she left Kitchings’ car, “I thought it was done. I ran to my door. I did not see that he was behind me. He pushed the door closed and locked it.” She also said he also threatened to shoot her dogs.
— Kitchings contradicted himself to police several times, sometimes within minutes. He first said the woman told him she hadn’t had sex in a year, then moments later said that she told him she hadn’t had sex in a month. He said the woman invited him into the house, then later said he’d invited himself. He said she’d removed her own clothes and later said he helped her. He first said the two talked and played with her dogs before their encounter but later said that as soon as they went in the house they rushed to her bed.
— Kitchings said that, after the encounter, he wrote down his phone number in case the two wanted to meet up another time, but the woman never called him. But she said he didn’t write anything. Police later searched her home, which had been locked since she left with police the night of the encounter, and found no such paper.
— After the encounter, Kitchings claimed, he and the woman “were huggy-kissy.” Jenne, the police investigator, told Kitchings he’d listened to the alleged victim’s 911 call and, “I told Kitchings how disturbing it was hearing the fear and suffering in the victim’s voice.” The woman said Kitchings was inside the home for 20 to 25 minutes. She dialed 911 at 2:03 a.m. When police arrived, she showed them bruises on her legs and on the spot on her arm where she said Kitchings had pushed her inside. When police showed her a photo of Kitchings, she said, ‘That’s the person who raped me.”
Excerpts of 911 conversation early on May 8 between a Jupiter police dispatcher and the woman whom Gary Kitchings is accused of raping. In the audio recording, the voices are masked to protect the woman’s identity.
“Hi I’ve been raped.”
“OK, where are you hon?”
“I’m in my house. I’m locked in my bedroom in case the guy comes back.”
“OK, OK. Listen. Shhh. OK. I’m going to help you. What’s your name? Stop crying, honey. Stop crying. OK. OK. Listen. Listen. Stop, Stop. You’ve got to pull it together. You’ve got to pull it together so that I can help you. Pull it together. He’s not going to hurt you. We have somebody on the way.”