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Emily Welker, Published April 12 2013

Cavalier man accused of series of rapes

CAVALIER, N.D. – A 47-year-old Cavalier man is facing 20 felony charges, 10 of which carry a potential life sentence without parole, after prosecutors here allege he beat, tied up and forcibly raped a woman 10 times in his home from mid-January to April.

Gregory Ray Kitchens was charged Wednesday in Pembina County District Court with 10 counts of gross sexual imposition as a Class AA felony and 10 counts of felonious restraint, a Class C felony.

Kitchens recorded video of at least some of the alleged sexual assaults, police claim in court records.

Assistant Pembina County State’s Attorney Barbara Whelan said she could not discuss details of the case but said it has had an effect on the community. Cavalier is a city of about 1,300 people about 80 miles north of Grand Forks.

“Everybody’s pretty shaken up about this,” Whelan said.

The woman Kitchens is accused of attacking is an acquaintance.

The Forum does not generally identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

According to court documents filed in Pembina County:

Cavalier police saw the woman April 4 with black and blue marks on her chin and the left side of her face, a blackened right eye, blood ruptures in both eyes and other injuries all over her body, including her wrists and arms. She also had duct tape residue on both her wrists, and an ear that was so badly swollen it required surgery and is expected to be permanently impaired.

When police searched Kitchens’ home at 304 W. 2nd Ave., they found blood throughout the house, as well as hose clamps, zip ties and ropes thought to have been used for restraints, also with blood on them.

Police also allege in court records they found video clips on Kitchens’ computer that showed the woman being restrained and forced to engage in sexual activity.

On Monday, the woman told police that Kitchens bailed her out of jail in Alabama and took her to Grand Forks to stay in a hotel, where he also assaulted her, according to court records.

From there, the woman told police, Kitchens took her to Cavalier, where the alleged sexual assaults escalated and Kitchens threatened to kill her.

The woman told police she was assaulted more than 20 times since getting to Cavalier in mid-January. She told police Kitchens restrained her and left her in his home for hours, often with a radio blaring so that her screams could not be heard by passers-by.

The gross sexual imposition charges carry a potential sentence of life without parole if Kitchens were convicted.

Prosecutors also charged Kitchens on Thursday with Class B felony aggravated assault, Class C felony possession of methamphetamine and two counts of Class C felony possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with the case.

Court records don’t list an attorney for Kitchens, who is being held on bail of $500,000.

His next court appearance is set for April 29.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541