A former Kansas police officer was arrested and charged Wednesday in a series of sex crimes that stretched over several years while he worked for the Hutchinson Police Department, the local authorities said.
The former officer, Todd W. Allen, 51, of Hutchinson, who was with the department for more than 20 years and resigned in 2018, is facing nine counts of aggravated sexual battery, five counts of rape, one count of indecent liberties with a child, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of sexual battery and five counts of breach of privacy and eavesdropping, court records show. His bond is set at a total of $6 million, with each charge set at $250,000. It was unclear if Mr. Allen had a lawyer.
At a news conference on Wednesday evening, Chief Jeff Hooper of the Hutchinson Police Department called Mr. Allen a “predator” and said that 17 cases the department had been investigating were cleared with his arrest. He said that most of the crimes in question took place from 2012 and 2018 and that it was possible that there could be more victims in the city of nearly 40,000, which is about 50 miles northwest of Wichita. He urged any additional victims to come forward.
“I am appalled and disgusted that somebody who is a suspect in these types of crimes and this type of behavior ever wore the uniform and this badge that I am honored to pin on my chest every day,” Chief Hooper said the news conference, which was covered by KWCH12, a local television station.
Chief Hooper, who joined the Hutchinson police force in 2018, said that within three weeks of his start date, there was a sexual assault at one of the city’s parks. It was believed that it was related to a series of other crimes that had been committed in the area since 2012.
The Police Department had never publicly mentioned the assaults, Chief Hooper said, so he quickly held a news conference on Nov. 6, 2018, to “alert the public to potential dangers and precautions they could take.” After that, the sexual assaults stopped and Mr. Allen, a patrol officer, resigned from the police force.
The authorities said that they had never closed the existing cases, and detectives frequently studied patterns to determine if the attacker had acted again.
Within the past month, the authorities said, they started receiving numerous calls about prowling and window peeping. Mr. Allen was arrested in connection with one of the calls, Chief Hooper said, and detectives were then able to link the calls to the series of crimes that had taken place from 2012 to 2018.
Chief Hooper declined to specify what had led the authorities to believe Mr. Allen to be the suspect, beyond “great police work and follow up.”
“I am proud of this administration and all the men and women who diligently worked on these cases over the last decade and who today brought Mr. Allen to justice,” Chief Hooper said.
After taking over the department, Chief Hooper said, he worked to change the culture of the force and that “several members of the previous administration have been terminated and others have resigned.” He said that he was aiming to make it an accredited law enforcement agency “so that we can prove we are the elite agency that we say we are.”