Inman police chief charged with sex crimes

The police chief of Inman has been charged with more than a dozen sex crimes and two counts of battery after he was arrested this week.

Michael Leland Akins Jr., 38, has been charged in McPherson County District Court with 19 crimes, state officials said.

He is accused of abusing three girls and one boy under the age of 14 from December 2008 to December 2009, Attorney General Steve Six said. Akins is being held in the McPherson County jail, with bond set at $250,000.

"I'm sure Inman will be shocked," said Marci Penner, executive director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, which is based in rural McPherson County near the town of 1,250 residents.

Inman sits about halfway between McPherson and Hutchinson on K-61.

McPherson County Sheriff Larry Powell said Akins was arrested at his home at about 8:20 p.m. Tuesday following a weeklong investigation. He said deputies had to force their way into the house.

Akins was hired as a police officer in Inman in 2005 and became chief in January 2007, city officials said.

The town's one remaining full-time officer was named acting police chief at a special City Council meeting called Wednesday morning, Mayor John O'Brien said.

The arrest has set Inman abuzz, O'Brien said.

"It spreads pretty fast in a small town," he said.

The Police Department has two half-time officers and one part-time officer.

"Any assistance they need we will provide it for them until they get back up to staff," Powell said.

Officials said Akins has been charged with one count of rape, 12 counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, three counts of indecent solicitation, two counts of battery and one count of lewd and lascivious behavior.

A preliminary hearing for Akins has been set for Friday at 3 p.m.