Police arrest man suspected in series of rapes in Clayton County

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Investigators announced Tuesday that they have arrested the man they believe is a serial rapist wanted in a string of sexual assaults dating back more than four years.

Clayton County police arrested Kenneth Thomas Bowen III, 24, after they linked his DNA to at least eight of the attacks.

Police say Bowen was a onetime recruit with the department, but they say they terminated him before he finished the academy.

"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," the police department said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. "(He) was never a certified police officer with the Clayton County Police Department."

Police said he was taken into custody at his place of work Tuesday with the help of the U.S. Marshal's Office.


On Tuesday night, Channel 2's Matt Johnson went to a Jonesboro neighborhood where the man lived, and neighbors were stunned to learn the news.

  "Oh my goodness, I' m shaking," Charlene Mallard said.       

Neighbors say they are extra thankful they have been taking precautions for months because of the sexual assaults in the area.

"We would just spread the word, ‘Don't be around walking by yourself around here,'" Mallard said.

Bowen is in the Clayton County jail facing a single rape charge for now.

Neighbors said the sexual assaults in their community may never have stopped without an arrest.

"That's not something they automatically stop," Mallard said.

Investigators said they are holding a news conference Wednesday morning at Clayton County Police Headquarters, where more information is expected to be released.