x
Breaking News
More () »

Georgia man accused of kidnapping and raping child at park on Mother's Day

Police said Austin Stovall faces charges including rape, aggravated sexual battery, child molestation and kidnapping.

KENNESAW, Ga. — Police in Kennesaw said Thursday they arrested and charged a man with kidnapping and raping a child at a park on Mother's Day.

The Kennesaw Police Department said Austin Stovall had been arrested and charged with rape, aggravated sexual battery, child molestation, false imprisonment, kidnapping and first degree cruelty to children.

The incident happened at Swift-Cantrell Park. Police said it was the "first incident like this to ever occur" at the park.

"Due to the nature of the charges, Kennesaw Police is unable to provide any additional information regarding this case," the department said.

They are asking anyone who might know anything about the case to call Detective Amica at 770-429-4533.

An arrest warrant said that Stovall allegedly "called (the victim) over to his vehicle and told her that he would 'hurt her' if she didn't follow him from his vehicle to the men's restroom."

That was where, according to the warrant, he "forced (the victim) into the corner of the restroom, preventing her from escaping" and "had nonconsensual sex with (the victim)."

The victim described serious physical discomfort and pain to police in the report.

Police Chief William Westenberger said the department mounted a "swift response" and "thorough investigation" that secured an arrest warrant within 24 hours of the incident.

He said agencies including the Cobb County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Unit, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshal's Southeast Regional Task Force helped in the "relentless pursuit and arrest of the suspect."

In a statement, Chief Westenberger said the department's "thoughts are with the victim and their family following this egregious incident."

"This is something that no juvenile should ever have to experience," the chief said.

"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," the chief said. "Please continue to report suspicious activity and partner with us to make Kennesaw the best city to live and work in."