Three years ago, on August 25, 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse was involved in a shooting incident where he shot three men, resulting in the deaths of two of them. He was later acquitted by a jury, which deemed the act to be justifiable homicide.
This week, at the age of 20, Rittenhouse learned that he might face further legal proceedings related to the events that unfolded during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
According to an exclusive report from the independent media outlet Texas Scorecard, Rittenhouse is now named as one of several co-defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the men who was fatally shot that night.
The lawsuit filed by Rosenbaum’s estate also targets the cities of Kenosha and West Allis, various counties and sheriff’s departments, as well as Kenosha officials.
The estate is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in connection with Rosenbaum’s death. Texas Scorecard referenced witnesses who had previously testified that Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum four times, but only after Rosenbaum chased the then-17-year-old, threw objects at him, and reached for his gun. Rosenbaum succumbed to the gunshot wounds.
Rittenhouse maintained that he acted in self-defense against a group of protestors, which resulted in two more men being shot, one of whom died.
Before the events of that night, Rosenbaum had spent a significant portion of his adult life incarcerated for crimes involving the molestation of five boys under the age of 13. He had also struggled with severe mental health issues, as noted by testimony from his fiancee.
The trial concluded with Rittenhouse’s complete acquittal the following year.
Reflecting on the situation, Rittenhouse told Texas Scorecard, “These lawsuits are making it harder and harder for me to move on with my life.
It is extremely difficult to go outside without fear of being harassed or assaulted because of the lies spread in these lawsuits. No one should have to continue to defend the fact that they acted in self-defense.” After his trial in 2021, Rittenhouse relocated to Texas.
Comments on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) largely showed support for Rittenhouse. Attorney and Annapolis law professor Gordana Schifanelli’s tweet was representative of this sentiment.
She stated, “The issue of self-defense has been already decided and the rule on Issue Preclusion will bar re-litigating self-defense which is the same thing the jury found not guilty beyond reasonable doubt.”