GPS Legal Woes Throw Sex Offender Defense for a Loop

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Jeffrey Kitze has had a long and storied relationship with the law. The convicted rapist, a computer repair technician in Virginia, is in the midst of a stalking trial that may send the individual back to jail after a two decade stay.

The “Graduation Day Rapist”
In 1989, Kitze joined his sister for her graduation from UVA Law School. There, he met his sister’s roommate. The next day, according to his criminal conviction, he hit his sister’s roommate repeatedly with a tire iron and assaulted the woman. He was quickly convicted, and remained in jail until 2009.

Constant GPS Monitoring
Since his release, he has constantly worn a GPS monitor so that law enforcement officials could track his movements. He started a computer repair business, and volunteered for a group called Food Not Bombs. It was there, in spite of GPS monitoring, that accusations once again came to haunt Kitze.

Accusations of Continued Deviant Behavior
Allegedly, Kitze repeatedly asked women at the Food Not Bombs organization for dates, and was rejected. After the rejection, he sent sexually suggestive emails, according to his accusers, to two of the women he made advances on. The administrator of the Food Not Bombs organization sent Kitze a letter cutting ties, and Kitze’s parole officer allegedly constrained Kitze never to contact anyone involved with the organization again. However, the stalking allegedly continued. He went back to jail in January of 2011 for two months.

A Clueless Defense
As his court case continued, the judge granted use of evidence obtained through GPS monitoring. The defense squealed once the evidence was accepted, and won a continuance. The admission of the GPS evidence symbolizes the continued power of GPS for law enforcement and legal purposes. Kitze’s monitoring doesn’t fall under the recent Supreme Court decision requiring a warrant to track suspected criminals. Kitze is a convicted criminal on parole, and as such all GPS monitoring is done with the blessing and under the banner of law enforcement. The implication in this case may be that, in light of GPS evidence, the defense simply doesn’t have a case. That result will be determined in the courts.

The Kitze stalking case may be viewed as a win for those that endorse GPS monitoring of sex offenders on parole. It should be noted that, based on GPS monitoring of his location, Kitze was questioned after the 2009 disappearance of Virginia Tech student Morgan Dana Harrington. After questioning, police decided not to pursue Kitze as a suspect in that disappearance.

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John Chapman

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