Former Austell police officer indicted on child molestation charges in Cobb

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

A former police officer who worked for several metro Atlanta departments during a career that spanned 30 years has been indicted on three counts of child molestation.

Matthew Darren Atkins, 55, is accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl in Cobb County while working for the Austell Police Department, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

Atkins was arrested in March on three counts of child molestation and one count of violating the oath of a public officer. He has now been indicted on the first three charges, according to documents posted by the Cobb County Superior Court clerk.

Following his first arrest, Atkins was arrested a second time in Carroll County and charged with similar crimes, the AJC reported. A woman who saw reports of Atkins’ arrest in Cobb came forward to report that she had been molested by him as well.

“During the course of the investigation, the victim came forth after seeing Mr. Atkins’ arrest in Cobb County and disclosed to law enforcement about having been molested by Mr. Atkins several years ago,” the Carroll sheriff’s office said in an email to the AJC.

Carroll officials have not released further information about whether Atkins will be indicted in their county.

At the time of his first arrest, Atkins had been working for Austell police for about five years and had been promoted to the rank of sergeant. He was fired from the force shortly after his arrest.

Atkins started his career with the Powder Springs Police Department in 1991, according to the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (POST). He worked there until 2002 when he joined the Douglasville Police Department. After about 12 years in Douglasville, he quit “in lieu of termination” after he was accused of using his city-issued work computer to buy illegal steroids, POST records said.

Atkins’ POST certification was put on probation for 36 months and he was required to submit to six random drug screens.

Atkins was booked into the Carroll County Jail on March 30, according to a representative for the Carroll sheriff’s office. He was held there until April 19 when he was released, once again, on $75,000 bond.