58-year-old Uber driver Gary Kitchings who was accused of rape by a woman after picking her up from the SunFest last year took the stand and testified on March 14th, in the Palm Beach County courtroom. We reported this case in a previous which you can read in this linked article here.
Kitching stated that the passenger asked him into her Jupiter condo and that the whole affair was consensual. She said "She invited me to come into the house; the sex was consensual. We both did what we did." During his statement to the court, Kitchings disputed every accusation that the 38-year-old victim alleged against him.
Days previous to Kitchings testimony, the victim took the stand and stated that Kitchings threatened her at gunpoint, she even tried to escape the car by jumping out of it. She said "I realized this is a nightmare. This guy is a monster, and he is going to do things to me that I do not want to do."
The victim went on to say that the ride started with two other passengers, and the conversation and atmosphere were friendly. After the two other passengers were dropped off, the driver changed his attitude and called her "sexy," he then unzipped his pants and ordered the passenger to provide him with sexual relief. According to Kitching's lawyers, there is no evidence to this fact in the car.
The victim continued to claim that Kitchings threatened to kill her and forced his way into her home, he then continued to threaten to kill her two pet dogs if she didn't perform. She accused Kitchings of forced sex on her bed, after which he left. She claims that she never saw a gun, which the police also state after their initial investigation.
The accuser relocated to live in New York City and owns an internet e-commerce site selling skin care products online.
According to Kitchings, the woman asked him if he was married, and even though he stated he was, she continued to act in a flirtatious manner. He said "She asked me if I cheat. I wasn't opposed to any of it."
While Kitchings and the woman were in her condo, he noticed that it was sparsely furnished and that he saw dog poop in some of the rooms. Even though he has hypertension and cardiovascular problems that make having an erection a problem for him, he managed to have sex and even saw that "She had this nice grin on her face."
After the sex was over, Kitchings claims to have said: "Hey sweetie, I gotta go and get out there and try to earn some more money."
Even though Kitchings did manage to take more passengers that day, he was apprehended and arrested the next day and remained in jail ever since.
Kitchings was charged with four counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon or physical force, one count of burglary with assault or battery, and false imprisonment.
Due to the arrest, he lost his job with Uber, as well as his job at a foster home facility in suburban West Palm Beach.
The trial continues as the jury and Judge hear testimony from both sides, then the jury will hear the closing arguments, after which Chief Circuit Judge Krista Marx will deliberate on the jury's decision.
The Judge has refused Kitching lawyers request to introduce into evidence the fact that the woman is managing another trial of similar nature in NYC, a trial that is being held next month. According to Kitchings, the woman is a scam artist trying to get money illegally out of innocent victims by claiming rape after consensual sex.
My conclusions on this, I don't know if he is guilty or not, but one thing for sure, don't mess with the passengers, no matter how sexy they are. Make sure you have your dash cam on at all times. Never leave your car unless it is to help elderly or disabled, or to help with luggage from the boot. Never accompany anyone to their home and definitely never enter a passenger's home.