Clayton County serial rapist pleads guilty, sentenced to life in prison

Kenneth Bowen was sentenced to life in prison Monday in connection with a series of rapes in Clayton County over several years.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Kenneth Bowen was sentenced to life in prison Monday in connection with a series of rapes in Clayton County over several years.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A serial rapist who terrorized the Clayton County community for years will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Kenneth Thomas Bowen, a one-time police recruit, pleaded guilty and was given six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole Monday, according to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office.

“You’re not going to get out, ever again,” Judge Aaron B. Mason stated inside the courtroom, according to Channel 2 Action News. “You earned this.”

Bowen had been facing 65 charges, including eight counts of rape, following his crime spree, when he made sure to never to use the same method of attack twice. He was indicted in 2019.

Bowen raped one woman by breaking inside her home through a window, and surprised another after she answered his knocks at her door, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. He attacked a third as she walked to her apartment.

During one incident, Bowen sexually assaulted a woman for two hours while she was nine months pregnant, Clayton County police Detective Michelle Alston recounted during a preliminary court hearing in 2019.

On Monday, some of the victims were inside the courtroom, where they looked Bowen in the eye.

“The woman I was that day died, and I will never be the same,” one victim said, according to Channel 2. Another told Bowen that while she’s never able to move forward, she and her family did forgive him.

The rapes started in 2015 but weren’t connected at first. It wasn’t until sketches of the suspect were reported by the media in 2018 that the community was placed on edge — unaware of where he would strike next.

Bowen was briefly employed as a police recruit in the county, authorities said, and the background information he provided helped link him to the sex crimes.

Police said he targeted Black women between the ages of 19 and 39, and five of the rapes happened between July 2015 and May 2017. Many of the incidents happened within a two-mile radius of his home.

During an investigation, authorities started reviewing 911 calls reporting suspicious people near the area of the attacks. They then looked at whether officers made contact with any of the suspicious people, whose names and birthdays were obtained, Lt. Thomas Reimers, an investigator in Clayton County, said at the time.

Bowen’s name and birthday were related to a call from 2016, Reimers said. When investigators obtained a photo of Bowen, they saw a striking similarity between his visage and the GBI sketch of the suspected rapist, he said.

Incident reports from those attacks later pointed to him. Using social media, investigators also found a photo of Bowen with a family member dressed in a Clayton police uniform, which linked him to the department.

He had been hired there in June 2018. He was then fired less than three months later after he arrived at training nearly four hours late one day and was not truthful to supervising officers about where he was during that time.

DNA also helped link him to some of the cases.

On Monday, Bowen apologized to the victims and said he has changed his life, Channel 2 reported.

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