A father has been arrested for allegedly raping his 10-month-old daughter to death in Pennsylvania.
29 year old Austin Stevens, of Providence Township, was charged this week with aggravated sexual assault, rape of a child, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and other criminal counts in the death of his baby daughter, Zara Scruggs.
Zara was at her father’s house on Saturday evening where she was found unresponsive around 10:40 p.m.
An emergence call was made to 911 which alerted the authorities to the scene, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele. The child’s father and mother shared joint custody.
The statement release from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, stated that Lower Providence police responded to a home in the 3400 block of Germantown Road to a report of an unresponsive infant at around 10.40pm on Saturday.
Upon arrival, officers found Zara Scruggs, the unresponsive infant, and her father, 29-year-old Austin Stevens.
The child was immediately transported to Einstein Medical Center in Montgomery County and pronounced dead shortly after midnight.
Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin Steele told newsmen that personnel who transported the child to the hospital gave the police a blood-saturated diaper that the child had been wearing.
According to detectives, Stevens conducted several Google searches on his phone of “how do you know if a baby is dead,” “if baby stops breathing,” “what if you don’t hear baby heart or beat,” and “my baby isn’t breathing.”
An autopsy test has determined that the baby girl, was the victim of a sexual assault and sustained anal rectal trauma and blunt force trauma to the head.
Attorney Kevin Steele States that authorities are still waiting for additional forensic results to determine the child’s cause of death as Austin could face more charges.
“This case is deeply disturbing. It is hard to imagine this child’s death being any more traumatic: sexual assault on an infant, followed by inaction by the father to save her life, led to her death,” Steele said during a news conference.