Uber driver accused of raping woman after taking her home from SunFest

A South Florida Uber driver was arrested early Tuesday morning after he gave a woman a ride home from SunFest and raped her, threatening to return and kill her if she told anyone and forcing her to drink his urine, according to a police report.

Gary Kitchings, 57, faces charges of kidnapping, sexual battery and burglary of an occupied dwelling.

According to a Jupiter police report, the woman was taking an Uber ride home early Sunday after attending SunFest in downtown West Palm Beach when her driver, later identified as Kitchings, began to flirt with her.

The woman told police that Kitchings touched her leg and tried to put his hand up her shirt, but she pushed it away and told him to stop.

Police said the woman claimed that she tried to jump out once they were off the highway, but the door was locked.

Kitchings saw her try to get away and told her that he had a gun under his seat, threatening to kill her if she didn't do what he wanted, according to the report.

The woman told police that Kitchings forced her to perform oral sex on him and told her that he was going to urinate, making her drink his urine, the report said.

When they arrived at her home, the woman got out of the car and was running to get inside, but Kitchings followed her, grabbed by the arm and pushed her into the house, the report said.

The woman screamed for help, but Kitchings closed the door and told her that he would "kill her and her dogs if she didn't shut up," the report said.

Police said the woman, believing that Kitchings had a gun under his shirt, complied with his demands, taking off her skirt and pantyhose and performing oral sex. Police said Kitchings also had sex with her without using a condom.

Before leaving, Kitchings told the woman that he would come back and kill her if she told anyone, the report said.

Police said the woman called 911 and told the dispatcher, "I've been raped." She told the dispatcher that she had locked herself in her bedroom "in case the guy comes back."

Kitchings was being held without bond at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Main Detention Center.

"What the rider reported is deeply disturbing," Uber said in a statement to Local 10 News. "The driver has been removed from the app."

Kitchings was also involved with Place of Hope, a faith-based organization providing foster care for children.

Florida Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Jessica Sims said Kitchings is a house parent at the KidSanctuary Campus in West Palm Beach, but he is not licensed by DCF as a foster parent.

"This is a deeply disturbing incident," Sims said in a statement. "We have high standards for the individuals who work in the child welfare system, as their jobs are extremely important in ensuring the safety of children. DCF staff is working closely with ChildNet and Place of Hope and has opened a child protective investigation to ensure that no children were harmed as a result of this individual's alleged illegal actions."

Place of Hope said in a statement that Kitchings has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

"Our first priority is for the care and security of children and youth placed with Place of Hope," the statement said. "Place of Hope takes any allegations of assault or abuse very seriously, given our mission to protect the vulnerable from abuse, neglect and abandonment."

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.