If Kenneth Bowen hadn’t applied to be a cop last year, he might have continued to get away with being a serial rapist, cops said.
Police in Atlanta arrested the former recruit, who was terminated last year for unrelated reasons, and charged him with seven counts of rape and one of sexual battery, Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts told reporters on Wednesday.
“He was removed from this agency during the academy process for being absent without leave,” Roberts said. “And during the internal investigation he was untruthful, which caused me to separate him from this agency.”
After that, Bowen came up again during a review of 911 calls of suspicious people, Clayton County Police Lt. Tom Reimers told ABC News.
"We reviewed those calls and looked for names and the calls to see if perhaps an officer had in fact contacted him at some point in the past and run his name and birth date," Reimers said. "That did lead to obtaining his name and birth date from a call from 2016."
Bowen’s photo also bore a “striking resemblance” to police sketches of the suspected rapist, police said, according to ABC News.
Bowen was picked up at his job on Tuesday.
“At this time, Kenneth Thomas Bowen III has been forensically linked by DNA to at least eight sexual assault cases and is currently in Clayton County Police custody,” police said in a statement Wednesday obtained by the New York Daily News. “During our investigation, it was uncovered that Bowen was once briefly employed with the Clayton County Police Department as a police recruit, however he was terminated prior to completion of the academy. Kenneth Thomas Bowen III was never a certified police officer with the Clayton County Police Department.”
The attacks had borne similarities but were different enough in M.O. that police did not realize they were linked at first, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in March after a seventh assault. Five of them had occurred between July 2015 and May 2017, all involving black female victims, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. He appeared to target black women aged 19 to 39.
Most recently, a man had forced his way inside a woman’s home at knifepoint in March, started raping her and ran away after her boyfriend interrupted the attack, the Journal-Constitution said. He got away before cops got there.
A man arrested Tuesday for a series of rapes since 2015 in Clayton County, near Atlanta, was briefly a police recruit last year, though he did not make it through the program.
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