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Former drum major instructor sentenced to 3 years for sexual battery

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Christopher Stewart Kitchen, a former drum major instructor for the Ohio State marching band, was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday.

Kitchen had pleaded guilty to one felony count of sexual battery in May after reaching a deal with prosecutors in an April 2015 rape case involving an OSU student. According to a statement at the time from the prosecutor, Ron O’Brien, Kitchen faced up to five years in prison after reaching the plea deal.

Kitchen was originally facing two felony counts of rape, two felony counts of sexual battery and one misdemeanor count of failure to comply with underage drinking laws.

According to court documents, Kitchen will be placed on five years probation after his release, and register as a sex offender.

“This former OSU band instructor will be required to register as a sex offender every 90 days for the rest of his life in connection to this case,” read a statement from O’Brien after Wednesday’s sentencing.

OSU spokesman Ben Johnson offered the following comment after Kitchen plead guilty in May, which he reiterated on Wednesday:

“We remain shocked and deeply distressed that someone who was once in a position of trust in our community engaged in such conduct,” the statement read. “Sexual violence has no place at Ohio State.  We are committed to supporting all victims of sexual assault in our university community and to doing all we can to prevent such violence in the first place.”

After the rape was originally reported in April 2015, Kitchen’s position with OSU, which had been set to expire at the end of the month, was not renewed.

In the fall of 2014, while still employed by the university, Kitchen received a letter of reprimand from OSU for sending an inappropriate text message to band staff members while the band was performing at the Circleville Pumpkin Show.

“Your behavior demonstrates a lack of sensitivity to many of the same topics about which we have been educating our students since August 2014,” the letter stated.

The letter also required Kitchen to enroll in an OSU “Emotional Intelligence Training” session.

“You must be cognizant that you represent the OSU bands, the School of Music and the university at all times,” the letter said. “Unprofessional and insensitive behaviors cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Attempts to reach Kitchen’s lawyer failed.

Update, 9:10 p.m.: OSU spokesman Ben Johnson told The Lantern that the university stands by its comment issued in May regarding the Kitchen case.

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