A former Clayton County police recruit has been arrested and accused of raping eight women in Clayton County since 2015.
Kenneth Thomas Bowen III, 24, was taken into custody at his job, police said in a statement Tuesday. Authorities connected Bowen to the rapes using DNA evidence collected from the crime scenes, the department said.
“During our investigation, it was uncovered that Bowen was once briefly employed with the Clayton County Police Department as a police recruit,” the statement said, “however he was terminated prior to completion of the academy.”
Bowen was never a certified police officer, the department said.
Police previously said the suspected rapist targeted black women between the ages of 19 and 39.
The most recent attack linked to Bowen happened when a woman was raped at knifepoint inside her home in the 7000 block of Southlake Parkway in March, AJC.com previously reported. Authorities said a man forced a woman inside her home and started raping her, but was interrupted by her boyfriend.
Authorities said the man ran away before police arrived. In a statement, police said it canvassed the area with police dogs but couldn’t find the man.
Five of the rapes happened between July 2015 and May 2017, police said. All but one woman lived in apartment or townhouse complexes in Clayton County, in the area of Battle Creek Road between Jonesboro and Riverdale, AJC.com reported.
At one point, investigators said they didn’t suspect the cases were linked because the man did not use the same method to intimidate or gain access to the victims. The GBI later found evidence confirming the victims were assaulted by the same person.
Police previously linked the suspected rapist to another attack where a man tried to sexually assault a woman after breaking into her apartment. There was no DNA evidence connecting that case to the other attacks, but authorities said the method used by the suspect was similar.
The department said it will release more information in a news conference scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday.
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