Police have arrested a man accused of raping a young girl at Kennesaw’s Swift-Cantrell Park.
According to an arrest warrant, Austin Dean Stovall, 32, raped a child who was under the age of 16 in a bathroom at the park Sunday evening. Stovall reportedly called the girl over to his vehicle and said he would hurt her if she didn’t follow him to the bathroom.
Stovall was arrested Wednesday afternoon and booked into the Cobb County jail, where he remains. He is not eligible for bond. He has been charged with rape, aggravated sexual battery, child molestation, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and cruelty to children in the 1st degree.
“First, my thoughts are with the victim and their family following this egregious incident. This is something that no juvenile should ever have to experience,” said Kennesaw Police Chief William Westenberger in a statement on social media.
“To the Citizens of Kennesaw, this is the first incident like this to ever occur in Swift-Cantrell Park. We take our oath to protect and serve very seriously. The suspect was identified, apprehended, and will now be held accountable for his actions.
“I would like to thank our officers and detectives for their swift response, thorough investigation, and securing the arrest warrant within 24 hours. I would like to thank Cobb County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit, U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, for their relentless pursuit and arrest of the suspect.
“I want you to know that your Kennesaw Police Department will remain vigilant and continue to keep our city, especially our parks, safe. Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership with our police department. Please continue to report suspicious activity and partner with us to make Kennesaw the best city to live and work in.”