Pennsylvania father arrested on sex assault, aggravated assault charges in death of 10-month-old child

LOWER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania -- Officials in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania announced Tuesday the arrest of a man on charges related to the death of his 10-month-old daughter.

According to officials, police were dispatched to a home in the 3400 block of Germantown Road, in Lower Providence Township, on Saturday at about 10:40 p.m. following a 911 call about an unresponsive baby.

Upon arrival, they found Zara Scruggs, the unresponsive infant, and her father, 29-year-old Austin Stevens.

The 10-month-old was taken to Einstein Medical Center Montgomery where she died just after midnight.

A search warrant of Stevens' phone showed that he had conducted multiple Google searches for nearly an hour before calling 911, authorities said. Subjects included "If baby stop breathing," "What if you don't hear baby heart or beat," "My baby isn't breathing," and "How do you know if a baby is dead."

Stevens also conducted social media and text conversations with two women during this time that were not related to the baby's condition, investigators said.

According to authorities, an autopsy on the baby determined that Zara Scruggs was the victim of a sexual assault.

"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," said Steele.

Stevens is charged with involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated assault and other charges, authorities said.

According to his social media and friends, Stevens is a co-owner of Black Diamond construction. His colleagues say this is "not in his character" and "think there are some other variables in play resulting in the charges."

Investigators say Stevens was an assistant coach for the Lower Providence Warriors football team.

Anyone with information about other acts of abuse connected to Stevens should call police.

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