HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) — The Hutchinson Police Department has arrested a person they call a “serial sexual predator.” Police Chief Jeff Hooper held a news conference late Wednesday afternoon to discuss the case.
He announced that Todd W. Allen, 51, a former Hutchinson police officer, was arrested at 2:32 p.m. on Wednesday. Hooper said police booked Allen into jail at 3:15 p.m. on suspicion of 24 crimes:
- Two counts of rape
- Three counts of attempted rape
- Two counts of kidnapping
- One count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child
- Seven counts of aggravated sexual battery
- Two counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery
- Two counts of sexual battery
- Five counts of breach of privacy, eavesdropping
Hooper said the sexual assaults happened in city parks from October 2012 through November 2018. One of them occurred after Hooper took over the police department in 2018. That’s when he learned that the case was similar to other attacks dating back to 2012.
In 2018, Hooper issued a news release warning people of an attacker who was falsely claiming to be park security or a police officer. The attacker would approach people in parked vehicles in city parks after dark. The attacker convinced the victims to get out of their cars and then would sexually assault them.
Watch the news conference below:
The chief said that Allen was a police officer for more than 20 years, including during the time of the sexual assaults. He resigned around the same time Hooper issued the news release. Hooper said several members of the previous administration resigned or were fired after Hooper announced that he was changing the culture of the department and would be holding employees accountable.
Hooper said investigators devoted a lot of time trying to solve the sexual assaults, but they remained unsolved.
In May 2019, police began getting reports of prowlers and window-peepers in various neighborhoods. The most recent report was in June of this year. Police worked with the community to solve the case and arrested Allen. From there, Hooper says investigators identified Allen as a suspect in the rape cases.
“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,” Hooper said.
The chief said Allen’s arrest clears 17 separate cases police had been investigating.
District Attorney Tom Stanton also spoke during the news conference.
“You need to understand, at this point, all we have done is file a charging document,” Stanton said. “The defendant is assumed and presumed innocent until proven guilty when found by a jury or otherwise found by court to be guilty. So, nothing that is being said here today should be considered anything but an allegation at this point.”
Stanton said Allen is scheduled for his first appearance before a judge Thursday morning. Allen’s bond is set at $250,000.
Hooper said police will not release the number of victims because they have not been able to contact all of them yet about the arrest.
He said that after he issued his 2018 news release about the rapes, a previous victim came forward.
The chief encourages potential victims to contact the police department at 620-694-2822. If someone wants to provide an anonymous tip, they can call Crime Stoppers of Reno County at 800-222-TIPS.
“We have nothing if we don’t take care of our victims in our community, and so I think that’s the most important piece here, and I would encourage anybody to come forward and let us, and let the district attorney’s office, be their voice of justice,” Hooper said.
In June 2002, Allen was one of three Hutchinson police officers suspended for allegedly falsifying training documents. The Hutchinson Police Department said the three officers went to Topeka to attend training classes but spent their time elsewhere. When they returned, they allegedly submitted documents saying they had attended the required training.