Ohio State drum major instructor indicted on rape charges

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A drum major instructor for Ohio State University's celebrated marching band who is accused of sexually assaulting a student was indicted on charges including rape, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Stewart Kitchen, 28, is suspected of assaulting the Ohio State student at his home on April 16. The indictment announced by the Franklin County prosecutor includes two counts each of rape and sexual battery and a misdemeanor charge of failing to comply with underage alcohol laws.

Kitchen faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted, said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien. Defense attorney Tom Hayes said Kitchen will plead not guilty at a Wednesday hearing.

In addition, "we are continuing our investigation to vigorously defend Mr. Kitchen against these allegations," Hayes said.

Court documents allege the assault occurred after Kitchen and the 19-year-old woman went out drinking and then walked to his Columbus home. The woman reported that Kitchen refused to return her to her home and sexually assaulted her in his bedroom.

Kitchen, who was arrested last month and freed on bond, was placed on paid administrative leave April 24. The university also said it launched an internal investigation and is cooperating with law enforcement officials.

Records released by Ohio State show Kitchen was reprimanded last year for sending an "inappropriate" text message, which included a derogatory reference to women's breasts, to fellow band staff members at a pumpkin festival during an Oct. 16 band event.

The reprimand came months after the university fired marching band director Jonathan Waters after an internal investigation determined he ignored "a sexualized culture" inside the band. Waters has fought the firing, filing a $1 million defamation claim Friday in the Ohio Court of Claims. He also is pursuing a federal civil rights claim of gender discrimination.

Waters' halftime shows for what's known to fans as "The Best Damn Band in the Land" were considered revolutionary and drew millions of viewers on YouTube.

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