Officials urge caution for online daters after alleged rape

Officials urge caution for online daters after alleged rape

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A case of alleged date rape in Tuscaloosa has highlighted the possible dangers of dating online.

A woman reported to Tuscaloosa authorities that she was raped by a man she met through an online dating service. Sheriff's deputies say the alleged rape happened Sept. 21. They say the woman and Kurtis Kitchens had met online through OkCupid.com.

Then, on the night of Sept. 21, the two met in person for the first time. Authorities say Kitchens picked the young woman up at her home, drove her to a secluded spot off Exit 97 and raped her. She was taken to the hospital for a rape exam the same night.

Online dating has become popular but domestic violence experts say it's important to always put safety first when meeting anyone in person that you've "met" online.


"There are maybe things to keep in mind about not meeting up with someone alone the first time or making sure you know a lot about the person. We talk about safety in numbers, going out in groups, may be a safer way to get to know someone," Allison Dearing with the Jefferson County Family Violence CCR said.

In the Tuscaloosa case, investigators were able to obtain Kurtis Kitchens' personal information from the owners of OKCupid.com. Kitchens was arrested yesterday at his home in Hueytown and charged with first degree rape, first degree sodomy and first degree sexual abuse.

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