More child molestation allegations against former metro Atlanta officer

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

After spending two weeks in the Cobb County jail following an arrest on child molestation charges, a former police officer was granted a $75,000 bond.

But Matthew Darren Atkins wasn’t out of jail long. On Tuesday, he was arrested again, this time in Carroll County, where he has also been charged with child molestation, jail records show.

Atkins, 55, was arrested March 10 and accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl, according to Cobb police. He was charged with three counts of child molestation and one count of violation of oath of public officer.

Then an Austell police officer, Atkins is accused of touching the girl inappropriately on several occasions and forcing her to touch him, his arrest warrant states. Atkins also allegedly masturbated in front of the child. The alleged crimes happened in February and earlier this month, the warrant states.

After learning Atkins had been arrested, another woman came forward to investigators, the Carroll sheriff’s office said Thursday.

“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 sheriff’s office said in an emailed statement.

Atkins had been employed with the Austell department since February 2017 and was promoted to sergeant in December 2018, according to his record on Georgia’s Peace Officers Standards and Training Council, also known as P.O.S.T. He previously worked for the police departments in both Powder Springs and Douglasville, records show.

On Thursday, P.O.S.T. records showed that Atkins’ police officer certification has been suspended. On Friday, the Austell department said he was no longer an employee.

Atkins worked for the Powder Springs police department from June 1991 until March 2002. He joined the Douglasville police department in April 2002. In December 2014, Atkins resigned “in lieu of termination” from his job as a Douglasville police sergeant. According to P.O.S.T. records, he was accused of using his city computer to buy illegal steroids. Following an investigation, Atkins’ P.O.S.T. certification was put on probation for 36 months and he was ordered to undergo six random drug screens.

On March 24, Atkins posted bond and was released from the Cobb jail after being fitted for an ankle monitor, jail records show. Then this week, he was arrested again. He was being held without bond Thursday at the Carroll jail.

“The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office would like to commend this young lady for her courage in coming forward and disclosing this heinous act to the proper authorities,” the sheriff’s office said.