Christopher Stewart Kitchen, former drum major instructor for the Ohio State marching band, pleaded guilty Monday morning to a charge of sexual battery in a case involving an OSU student.
In April of 2015, Kitchen was indicted for allegedly having raped a student in his University District home after inviting her to have drinks with him.
His position at the university expired on April 30, 2015, and was not renewed.
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, but he reached a plea deal with prosecutors.
“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 Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.
A sentencing date has been set for June 29, according to court records. The statement from O’Brien said that Kitchen faces a maximum of five years in prison.
OSU spokesman Ben Johnson offered the following comment on Tuesday:
“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.”
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, The Lantern reported after the indictment.
“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.”
Kitchen’s lawyers did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment on Tuesday.