Massive Miscarriages Of Justice In Kai The Hitchhiker Case [Opinion]

Caleb McGillivary is arraigned on murder charges in a Union County jail courtroom in Elizabeth, N.J.

Caleb McGillvary, better known as Kai the hitchhiker, is still awaiting trial. Almost four and a half years after he was accused of murder, he is currently still in the Union County Jail, held on $3 million bail. Currently, he’s locked down 23 hours a day in segregation. To top it off, there may be some extenuating circumstances regarding why he is being denied the “speedy trial” guaranteed by the Constitution in the Sixth Amendment.

Kai the Hitchhiker gained some major viral fame after he managed to save the lives of a utility worker and female bystander when a man he was hitching a ride with went off the rails. The man admitted to raping a young girl in the Virgin Islands, then told Kai he believed he was Jesus Christ and could do anything he wanted. At this point, he rammed into a man, pinning him to a truck and began chasing after a woman on the street. Kai took him out by smashing him with the handle of a hatchet he carries for protection. After appearing on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and being featured by Stephen Colbert and others, he became something of an online celebrity, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary that someone might recognize him and invite him to hang out.

That’s what Kai assumed was the case when he was picked up by lawyer Joseph Galfy in New York’s Times Square. Galfy offered him a ride to his house and Kai agreed. Kai alleges that Galfy drugged and raped him. From the time Kai was apprehended in Philadelphia and extradited to New Jersey, Kai has been faced with what basically amounts to a kangaroo court – issues being withheld, conflicts of interest, the brother of the deceased being allowed in the house during an active investigation. If you read Gardner and Suter’s reports, you’d see that in Gardner’s report, it’s noted that the dishwasher had been run between May 13 and 15. The report was written on the 15th and photos were being taken around that time. Why would you run a dishwasher in a house where an ongoing investigation into murder and rape is going on?

According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, reports at one point during the active investigation noted the dishwasher was run with glasses and mugs found in it. In Edward Suter’s Union County Sheriff’s Office investigative report, it shows they rinsed the beer bottles with fresh water. The beer bottles, glasses, and mugs should have been examined in toxicology reports. Instead, rinsed with fresh water? This is especially disturbing considering the fact that Kai had already reported that he believed he had been drugged and raped. Also left out of the prosecutor’s case to the grand jury is the fact that the two eyewitnesses said Kai appeared glassy-eyed, drugged, and sporting fresh wounds.

The prosecutor makes multiple claims that conflict with the official accounts as laid out in the autopsy, forensic reports, and Officers Adrian Gardner and Edward Suter’s UCSO investigative reports. For one, he notes that a rape kit was run on Galfy and came back negative. On Galfy? Of course, the rape kit run on the alleged rapist came back clear. In a proper investigation, the “unidentified blood” found on Galfy’s genitals would have been tested to see if it belonged to the alleged rape victim. In fact, within the UCSO reports, it is made clear that signs of a sexual assault were present at the scene.

At one point, the prosecutor introduces an “expert doctor,” Robert Pandina. Pandina refused to run a rape kit, and his claims about date rape drugs can be quickly disproved by anyone with a basic understanding of pharmacological agents. When Kai complained to the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners, they explained that Pandina was not a certified doctor in the state of New Jersey, and as a result, not under their jurisdiction. By the way, passing off someone as a doctor is a felony charge in New Jersey.

Not offering proper services and processing for a victim of sexual assault is also a crime in New Jersey. The prosecutor broke several laws, for one, undermining the New Jersey Attorney General Standards for providing services to victims of sexual assault (NJSA 45:9-18) by pretending Robert Pandina was a medical doctor capable of examining a survivor of sexual assault. In pages 91-93 of the grand jury testimony, the prosecutor commits fraud by passing Robert Pandina off as not only a doctor but an “expert doctor” at that.

The fact that the mugs and bottles of beer that were not washed in the dishwasher were ordered to be fumed with cyanoacrylate for prints and then to be washed out amounts to spoilation or destruction of exculpatory evidence, which is grounds for dismissal alone. As is denying the right to a speedy trial. With the improper handling of a sexual assault victim and perjury on the part of the prosecutor, there are multiple demonstrable crimes on display, which is why Kai has drafted a motion to dismiss along with a State and Federal civil suit against Union County officials.

His motion to dismiss should be heard. There are already ample grounds to throw out the case. The Federal civil suit itself should be a slam dunk, but can’t be heard until the criminal case is cleared, leaving Kai in a sort of catch-22 limbo for now.

By the way, New Jersey law says “sexual assault is a form of serious bodily injury, the threat of which would justify the use of deadly force in self-defense,” per N.J.S.A. 2c:3-4. If Kai wasn’t raped, whose “unidentified blood” is noted in the autopsy? In addition to the defense of self-defense, there is the mismanagement of evidence (quite possibly due to the fact that the alleged rapist was close friends with the prosecutor). Speaking of conflicts of interests, Kai is hoping to be able to receive a lawyer out of the city or state due to the large number of persons who are involved in this case who were good friends of Galfy. The primary criminal judge in Union County did not recuse himself, per se, but did change departments in order to not be a part of the case.

Most recently, Kai is working on a letter writing campaign to the ACLU. Once a press darling, now his story has been the subject of a media blackout for over a year. The last update from him at the page that’s curated for him at Facebook shared the following.

“Once again they have pushed my trial back. They say it’s going to be in spring of next year now… because they don’t want me to see what’s in the rapist’s hard drive. This is crazy! First they destroyed hella evidence then they lied to you and the grand jury and now they are imprisoning me without trial for five years. Any other state and I would be free already. If anyone wants to help with some stamps I’m going to fire off a new salvo of letters to get the ACLU involved.”

Parts of this case are eerily reminiscent of the Cleveland Street Scandal from London in the 1890s. When it was discovered that a large number of aristocratic types were taking to renting young “messenger boys” who were made to pose as telegram messengers, the scandal was mostly behind closed doors. Once some of the suppressed records finally came out a few decades ago, it was shown that a large number of the lawyers, judges, other nobles, and even royals were involved in the scandalous affair.

Also, there’s the interesting bit about how, around the time, it was made known the prosecutor was good friends with the deceased. Shortly after that news broke, he resigned after 11 years. So many conflicts of interest. So many valid questions regarding the investigation, detention, and prosecution.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported the following.

“In court, McGillvary told Superior Court Judge Joseph Donohue last month that Robert Mega, Union County’s presiding Criminal Court judge, had the phone number for the victim’s son, Joseph Galfy III Jr., saved as contact no. 18. He said learned that Mega was listed in Galfy’s cellphone from evidence that the prosecutor’s office provided to Liquori.

“Donohue said Mega has recused himself from the case, but he understood the defendant’s concern about the other judges.”

There’s a whole lot going on here that is cause for further investigation, and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface here.

[Featured Image by Star Ledger/Patti Sapone/ AP Images, Pool]