Crime & Courts

Police looking into molestation charge against former officer

Wichita police said Tuesday they are aggressively looking into allegations that a former police officer who has devoted much of his private life to mentoring at-risk youths sexually molested a 12-year-old boy more than a decade ago

“We know this individual has had a lot of contact with kids,” said Capt. Brent Allred. “We’re going to go out and talk to them.”

“Any information that comes into our shop, we’re diligently following up on,” added Lt. Jeff Weible, who heads the Wichita-Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Child Unit.

The former officer, Alex Robinson, 50, was arrested Friday, a day after a 24-year-old man told police he had been molested by Robinson when the man was a 12-year-old boy. Robinson was questioned by detectives before being booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy and four counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. He is free on bond. Attempts to contact Robinson were unsuccessful.

After a 22-year career with the Wichita Police Department, Robinson went to work for the Wichita public schools in 2006. He earns $75,790 a year as Safety Services Supervisor, a position that involves the oversight of building and district-level security officers. In following the district policy for employees arrested on felony charges, Robinson has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Robinson was honored with a President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2007 after logging more than 17,000 hours as a volunteer with the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas. In recent years, he has volunteered and served on the board of directors for Real Men, Real Heroes, a nonprofit organization that mentors at-risk youths.

Buddy Shannon, president of Real Men, Real Heroes, said Robinson was asked to resign last week after other board members learned of the investigation.

“We’re not presuming his innocence or his guilt, but due to the serious nature of the allegations, the board acted on asking for his resignation,” Shannon said. “He was shocked that we asked for it, and I can understand why.

“We’re not accusing or excusing Alex of the charges. We don’t know what happened.”

Jeff Jacobs, chief professional officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, said that as far as he knows, Robinson has not volunteered for his organization since it moved into its new building at 2400 N. Opportunity Dr. in 2007. He said he has no way of knowing whether Robinson came into contact with the alleged victim through the Boys & Girls Club. He said he expects that police will eventually ask him to search through his records to see whether he can tell when Robinson volunteered for the organization.

Jacobs and Shannon both said their organizations do not participate in one-on-one mentoring.

Weible, with EMCU, described Robinson and the victim as “acquaintances,” but he would not disclose information about how the two first came into contact with each other.

Police chief Norman Williams said he knows of only one person — the 24-year-old man — who has made allegations against Robinson. Williams said Tuesday he found it “very disturbing and disappointing” to learn that one of his former officers was the target of a child abuse investigation.

Allred said detectives have been conferring with the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office as they conduct their investigation. There is a five-year statute-of-limitations on child abuse cases, he said, but the law makes exceptions, including cases where:

• The child was under age 15 when the crime occurred.

• The victim was of such an age or intelligence that he or she was unable to determine a crime occurred.

• The victim psychologically repressed memories of the crime.

• A parent or other legal authority prevented the victim from reporting the crime.

The law says a prosecution can occur if at least two of those criteria are met.

“We believe we have met two or three,” he said.

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