A former Kansas police officer has pleaded guilty to a string of sex crimes in which he sexually assaulted 10 women while posing as an on-duty officer over seven years.
Todd W. Allen, who was employed with the Hutchinson Police Department for more than 25 years, pleaded guilty Monday to 12 felony sex crime charges and five breach of privacy charges in Reno County District Court.
The sex crime charges are: two counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape, one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, three counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery and two counts of kidnapping.
Targeting women in cars while posing as an officer
In 10 incidents from 2012 to 2018, Allen targeted women sitting in their cars at parks or in parking lots, according to court filings.
He would pose as a police or park security officer — when he was off duty — and shine a flashlight into their car windows or knock on the glass. He would ask questions about whether they were using drugs and demand that the women get out of the cars and follow him to the rear of the vehicles or to nearby areas, court documents said.
Former Kansas police officer charged with 24 counts of sex crimesAug. 19, 202203:03
Once there, he would pat them down, claiming he was checking for drugs or weapons, fondle their body parts and touch them inappropriately without consent. Some victims reported seeing Allen wearing a ski mask covering his face after the assaults, court filings said.
In some instances, the victims’ boyfriends or friends would be ordered to remain in the cars as the assaults were taking place.
Several victims reported that they at first complied with Allen’s commands because they believed he was a police or park security officer, filings said.
How Allen was caught
The breach of privacy incidents occurred from 2019 to 2022.
The most recent incident was in June, when police responded to a home in Hutchinson where a resident said his cameras had caught a man wearing gloves looking over his fence toward where a party of mostly females was taking place on the other side.
The resident said the man noticed the camera and tried to shine a flashlight at it to blind the view and ran away, court filings said.
Based on the description the resident gave, police stopped Allen at an intersection in Hutchinson, and he claimed he was out riding his bike.
Allen met with detectives voluntarily on Aug. 10 about the June breach of privacy case and admitted being the prowler. He said he “could have been” the prowler in each of the breach of privacy cases he ended up pleading guilty to.
He was also asked about two instances when law enforcement officers found him walking around parks around 3 a.m. in July 2016 and March 2017.
Speaking about the latter incident, “he admitted to the detective questioning him to have been on foot in Carey Park that night hoping to encounter a female.”
Reno County District Attorney Thomas R. Stanton wrote in a court filing that Allen would search and view the incidents he later pleaded guilty to in the police department’s record database multiple times, even though he was not assigned to investigate any of the cases.
Stanton's court filing said Allen eventually admitted that he was the suspect in the cases he reviewed in the police database and that he was the park prowler who posed as a police or park security officer.
Stanton wrote that Allen didn't offer an explanation other than that the encounters were "sexually motivated" that and he was "sexually aroused by his actions."
"The defendant also admitted he knew that what he had done was wrong," Stanton wrote.
Allen left the Hutchinson Police Department in 2019,and went on to work as a security officer on the night shift at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center.
He was arrested and charged with the sex crimes spree in August.
Then-Police Chief Jeff Hooper called Allen a “predator” when he announced the charges.
Hooper said that shortly after he took over the police department, a sexual assault was reported at a park in Hutchinson and staff members notified him that the assault was related to a series of similar attacks that had been occurring since 2012.
Hooper said at that point, officials hadn’t released details to the public about the string of incidents, and he held a news conference in November 2018 about the spree to “alert the public.”
After the news conference, the incidents appeared to stop, and around the same time, Allen resigned as a patrol officer.
Allen's sentencing is set for May 22. His attorney didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The district attorney's office said that in the plea agreement, Allen will waive his right to appeal the convictions and the state agreed to recommend consecutive sentences on some counts, resulting in 23.5 years in prison. Ultimately, the judge will decide on the sentence.
Stanton said all victims will be given opportunities to address the judge at the sentencing hearing.