Montgomery County officials say a 10-month-old girl died after her 29-year-old father raped her in the town of Lower Providence. Austin Stevens, assistant youth football coach for the Lower Providence Warriors, is accused of child rape, aggravated assault and other related charges in the death of Zara Scrogos.
Montgomery County Attorney Kevin Steele says Zara was at her father’s house where she was found unresponsive at around 10:40 p.m., after a 911 call.
She was transferred to the Einstein Medical Center in Montgomery County and pronounced dead shortly after midnight.
According to investigators, Stevens conducted numerous Google searches on his phone for “how do you know a child is dead,” “if the baby stops breathing,” “what if you can’t hear the baby’s heartbeat,” and “my baby isn’t breathing.”
An autopsy revealed that Zara had been a victim of sexual assault and had suffered severe trauma to her head. Steele says they are awaiting additional forensic results to determine the cause of the child’s death as Stevens may face more charges.
This issue is very worrying. It’s hard to imagine this child’s death becoming more traumatic, Steele said during a press conference: Sexual abuse of a baby, followed by a father’s failure to act to save her life, led to her death.
Steele added that there was a custody arrangement between Stevens and the girl’s mother.
Stevens is being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on a $ 1 million bail.