A former Kansas police officer was arrested and charged Wednesday in a string of sex crimes that authorities say unfolded over at least six years during his time with the Hutchinson Police Department, authorities said.
Todd Allen, 51, of Hutchinson, faces 24 counts in all, the police department said: 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.
He was being held at the Reno County Correctional Facility on Wednesday, police said. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney. He was scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.
Most of the accusations concern incidents alleged to have happened from 2012 to 2018, Police Chief Jeff Hooper said at a news conference Wednesday.
Describing Allen as a "predator," Hooper said at least 17 cases the department had been investigating were cleared with Allen'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 about how many victims were involved. He further warned that there could be more victims, and he urged any other potential victims to come forward.
Hooper said that the investigation continues and that there are "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 yearslong string of crimes.
Hooper, who joined the force in 2018, said that shortly after he took over the helm, a sexual assault was 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" about the string of incidents.
Hooper said that in response, he held a news conference on Nov. 6, 2018, releasing details about the series of assaults 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 after more than 20 years of service.
Recently, Hooper said, police had started getting 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 from 2012 to 2018, Hooper said.
It was not immediately clear what exactly led the department to suspect Allen. Hooper said "great police work and follow-up" played a role.
Hooper stressed that the sexual assault cases had never been put in "cold case status," adding that they "always remained active and assigned to a detective, and work continued to be done over those cases for the last several years."
He said that since he joined the police department, he has undertaken efforts to "completely change" its culture, and he noted that several members of the previous administration had been terminated, while others had resigned.