Did Kyle Rittenhouse get rape threats? Judge denies rearrest warrant for Kenosha suspect after anonymous email
Double murder suspect, Kyle Rittenhouse who also injured people during the Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin will stay out of prison on a $2 million bond
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder ruled that double-murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse will remain free on a $2 million bond despite prosecutors wanting him arrested after he violated the terms of his release. Schroeder vetoed the motion at a hearing that was held virtually on Thursday and included statements from a man who survived being shot by the 18-year-old and the father of a man who didn't. Rittenhouse appeared for the hearing dressed formally, surgical mask on, sitting next to his attorney Mark D. Richards.
Prosecutors had alleged that Rittenhouse moved out of his home in Antioch, Illinois, to a new undisclosed location. Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger had also asked for the murder suspect's $2 million bail that was originally paid for following a successful fundraising campaign, to be increased by $200,000. Rittenhouse's defense team said the 18-year-old has been moved to a "safe house" because of the soaring number of threats that he had received since the time he was released from custody. They also backed up their claims by submitting an anonymous email warning that said Rittenhouse will be raped in prison once he's sent back.
Schroeder acknowledged that the teenager had failed to keep the court in the loop of where he was residing but also noted that Rittenhouse's release conditions required him to provide his address to the court and not he actually reside there, according to a Washington Post report. “To issue a warrant now for a defendant that has appeared at every hearing would be breaking the law, and I’m not going to do it,” Schroeder said. He also added that he had no authority to issue the kind of warrant that Binger had requested.
Schroeder further said that concerns surrounding Rittenhouse's safety are legitimate, however, he added that he did not want a crisis situation similar to what occurred after Jacob Blake was shot by the police.
"I've got two broken windows here, right here in this courtroom, the doors are all still covered with plywood, a good share of the community is still boarded up after millions of dollars of damage," he added before saying that he didn't want any problems since the town had already seen a lot of them in the past six months. Schroeder ordered Rittenhouse's attorney Richards to hand over his client's current address to the court which will be sealed to the public. Binger raised objections against this move. "I hope you're not suggesting sharing this with our office would lead to further violence," Binger said according to a Newsweek report. "We are not the public. We are the prosecuting agency. I have never heard of a situation where the information has been withheld from my office," he added.
The defense filed an updated address under seal last week, which Binger said was only a post office box and not a residence.
Rittenhouse is charged with killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, with an AR_15-style rifle on August 25, 2020. This was during the protests after Jacob Blake was shot dead by the Kenosha police. Rittenhouse was only 17 at the time of the shooting, an age where he couldn't legally possess the AR-15-style firearm in Wisconsin. Rittenhouse had previously stated that his friend purchased the rifle on his behalf using money from a government stimulus program.
On the night of the shooting, Rittenhouse traveled across the Illinois border and reached Kenosha. He said he was responding to a call-out by a self-styled militia group in the city for "patriots" to protect local businesses. His legal team has argued that the shootings were in self-defense an argument backed by conservative supporters including former President Donald Trump.
After his release, he was spotted at a bar wearing a "Free as F***" t-shirt and posing for photos with members of the far-right group Proud Boys flashing hand signs associated with white supremacy. Prosecutors moved the court to adjust his terms of release and prohibit him from drinking alcohol, displaying signs or symbols linked to white supremacy, and aligning with white-supremacist groups.