A Pennsylvania father was arrested for raping his 10-month-old daughter, who later died of her wounds in hospital.
Austin Stevens, 29, of Providence Township, was charged with aggravated sexual assault, child rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, indecent assault, endangering child welfare, and other criminal charges in the death of his infant daughter, Zara Skarrows.
According to a press release from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, at about 10.40pm on Saturday, Lower Providence Police responded to a home at 3400 Germantown Road to a report of an unresponsive infant.
Officers immediately began CPR on Zara and took her to the Einstein Medical Center in Montgomery, where she was pronounced dead less than two hours later.
Police obtained a search warrant to download the contents of Stevens’ phone, which revealed that the 29-year-old father had performed multiple Google searches for about an hour before calling 911 to get help for his dying daughter.
Topics of Stevens’ internet searches included “If a baby stops breathing,” “What if you don’t hear the baby’s heartbeat or beating,” “My baby isn’t breathing,” and “How do you know if a child is breathing [such] died,” According to the plaintiffs.
Stevens also allegedly exchanged messages and texts on social media with two women, which did not mention his daughter’s condition.
A search of Stevens’ apartment upstairs revealed diapers that Zara was wearing during the alleged rape.
The press release from the DA office said the diaper was soaked in blood.
The autopsy concluded that the girl, who had just learned how to walk, had suffered anal trauma and severe head trauma.
This issue is very worrying. “ It’s hard to imagine that this child’s death became more traumatic: the sexual assault of an infant, followed by a father’s failure to act to save her life, led to her death, ” said Kevin Steele, a Montgomery County attorney general. .
Stevens is being held in county jail on $ 1 million bail pending a preliminary hearing
Social media posts indicate that Stevens is a co-owner of a construction company. He has also served as assistant coach for the Lower Providence Warriors youth soccer team.
According to the authorities, Stephens entered into a joint custody agreement with Zara’s mother. The baby’s maternal grandparents were among the last to see her alive when they put her in her father’s car to take her to his apartment for a night visit.
Erica Skrgs, the baby’s mother, went to Facebook on Tuesday and wrote, “I’m not okay. I really have no words … it will pay.
Meanwhile, Zara’s cousin launched a GoFundMe page to help her grieving mother. The fundraising campaign has so far attracted more than $ 28,000 in donations.