• Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

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Ex-Kansas police officer charged in series of sex crimes that stretched over 6 years

A former Kansas police officer was arrested and charged Wednesday in a string of sex crimes that allegedly unfolded over the span of at least six years during his time with the Hutchinson Police Department, authorities said.

Todd Allen, 51, of Hutchinson, faces two counts of rape, three counts of attempted rape, one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, two counts of kidnapping, seven counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of sexual battery, two counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery and five counts of breach of privacy and eavesdropping, the Hutchinson Police Department said.

Allen was being held at the Reno County Correctional Facility as of Wednesday, police said. It was not immediately clear if Allen had an attorney. He was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday morning.

Most of the accusations against the former police officer concern incidents alleged to have happened between 2012 and 2018, Hutchinson Police Department Chief Jeff Hooper said during a news conference Wednesday.

Describing Allen as a “predator,” Hooper said that at least 17 cases the department had been investigating were cleared with the former police officer’s arrest.

“I am appalled and disgusted that somebody who is a suspect in these type 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,” Hooper said.

Hooper said he could not share information on how many victims were involved in the cases under investigation. He further warned that there could be more victims and urged any other potential victims to come forward.

The police chief said the investigation into Allen’s alleged actions was still ongoing and said there were “a lot of details” he could not immediately share. However, he did a shine a light on how police came to suspect Allen in the years-long string of crimes.

Hooper, who joined the force in 2018, said that shortly after he took over the helm, a sexual assault had been reported at a park in Hutchinson, which is about 50 miles northwest of Wichita. He said he was “notified by my staff that that assault was related to a series of assaults that had been occurring in the city of Hutchinson since 2012.”

He said he was also made aware that “to that point, the police department had not released any details to the public” regarding the string of incidents.

In response, Hooper said he held a news conference on Nov. 6, 2018, releasing details on the series of sexual assaults in order to “alert the public of potential dangers to our community and safety precautions that they could take should they encounter another incident that was similar.”

After the news conference, the incidents appeared to stop and around the same time, Allen resigned as a patrol officer from the police department after more than 20 years of service.

Recently, Hooper said the police force had started receiving calls about prowling and window peeping. Allen was arrested in connection with one of the calls and detectives were eventually able to link him to the series of crimes taking place from 2012 to 2018.

It was not immediately clear what exactly led the department to believe Allen was the suspect in the string of crimes, but Hooper said “great police work and follow up” played a role in the discovery. 

Hooper stressed that the sexual assault cases had never been put in a “cold case status,” adding they “always remained active and assigned to a detective, and work continued to be done over those cases for the last several years.”

Since joining the Hutchinson Police Department, he said he had undertaken efforts to “completely change” the culture within the force and noted that several members of the previous administration had been terminated, while others had resigned.