A woman who police believe is the first victim of an alleged serial rapist in Clayton County is thankful after an arrest was made earlier this week.
The woman told Channel 2 Action News she was 18 years old when she was raped, and her suspected rapist, 24-year-old Kenneth Thomas Bowen III, lived down the street from her apartment.
AJC.com does not identify alleged victims of sex crimes.
“He put a gun to my head,” the woman said. “He even cocked the gun back and told me to run. I just ... felt dead already.”
In 2015, she was grabbed outside her Chaselake Drive apartment and assaulted in a nearby wooded area, Channel 2 reported. She didn’t know who attacked her until police arrested Bowen, who is a former Clayton County police recruit.
Bowen was never a certified police officer, the department said.
The woman said she received a call Wednesday from a detective to let her know her suspected rapist was no longer on the loose.
“Words can’t even describe how I feel,” she said. “I am very thankful. I’m glad it’s over.”
Authorities said they connected Bowen to the crimes using DNA evidence collected from the scenes.
He’s being held in the Clayton County jail without bond on seven counts of rape and one count of sexual battery, with the most recent attack taking place in March.
His first alleged victim told Channel 2 she wonders if he could’ve been arrested sooner, saying police should have been more thorough after her assault. She said Bowen stole her phone the night she was raped, and her relatives were able to track it to some bushes off Tara Road, which is the road Bowen lived on.
“If they would have listened to the tips that I gave them on my phone being stolen ... they probably could have knocked on those doors that were on that street to find him a lot faster,” she said.
She said police told her they weren’t able to lift prints off the phone since it had rained that night, compromising any potential evidence. Police told Channel 2 the detective who handled her case initially is no longer with the department.