A homeless man kidnapped and raped a girl inside a bathroom at a popular Georgia park on Mother’s Day, authorities said Friday.
Austin Stovall, 33, was arrested Wednesday in Sunday’s shocking attack at Swift-Cantrell Park in Kennesaw, police said.
“First, my thoughts are with the victim and their family following this egregious incident,” Police Chief William Westenberger said in a statement Friday. “This is something that no juvenile should ever have to experience.”
The attack marked the “first incident like this” to occur in the 130-acre park outside Atlanta that features playgrounds, trails and picnic pavilions, Westenberger said.
“We take our oath to protect and serve very seriously,” the chief said. “The suspect was identified, apprehended and will now be held accountable for his actions.”
Stovall, who is listed as homeless in Cobb County jail records, was charged with multiple felony counts including rape, aggravated sexual battery, kidnapping and false imprisonment.
Police said he called a girl under the age of 16 over to his car and threatened to “hurt her” if she didn’t follow him to a men’s restroom in the park, according to a Cobb County arrest warrant cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Stovall then allegedly forced the girl into a corner inside the facility and raped her, according to the warrant, which did not disclose the victim’s age.
Stovall has a long criminal history that includes multiple convictions and prison sentences. He was most recently arrested in July in Cherokee County, where he was charged with DUI, obstruction and other counts, according to the Journal-Constitution.
He remained held without bond Friday. He has yet to hire a lawyer who could comment on his behalf, jail records show.