DCF Has Opened An Investigation Into Foster Care Worker In Uber Rape Case

As shocking as it was to hear this week that an Uber driver was accused of sexually assaulting a female passenger in Jupiter, it was later learned that the suspect, Gary Kitchings, has been caring for foster kids.  

The Department of Children and Families says it is opening a child protective investigation to see if Kitchings may have harmed any children in his care.    The man worked as a house parent at Place of Hope's Kid Sanctuary campus in Royal Palm Beach.  The non-profit says Kitchings has been placed on leave after cops say he kidnapped and raped a woman to whom he was giving a ride from SunFest.

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

DCF calls it "a deeply disturbing incident" and Uber released a statement following Kitchings' arrest, stating "What the rider reported is deeply disturbing" and that "the driver has been removed from the app."

Kitchings reportedly has no prior arrests in Palm Beach County.  He is being held without bond and could get life in prison if convicted.

Mugshot: PBSO

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