Affidavit: Calling self ‘a monster,’ Lawrence man admits to long-running sexual abuse of girl

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St.

When police confronted him with a girl’s allegations that he raped and otherwise molested her for years, Dustyn D. Polk responded that he was “a monster,” according to investigators.

Polk, 43, of Lawrence, told police that while he didn’t have a clear memory of the abuse, “he was sure” he had molested the girl, according to an affidavit police prepared in support of his arrest. Investigators further wrote in the affidavit, “Dustyn called himself a monster several times and said he was sorry.”

The Journal-World requested and recently received the document from Douglas County District Court, where Polk is charged with six counts in all of rape, aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent liberties with a child under 14, all off-grid level felonies. According to the complaint, the alleged crimes began in 2015, when the victim was 10, and continued through earlier this year.

Polk, taken to jail straight from his police interview, remains in custody on $500,000 bond.

Lawrence police began investigating the case in early August, shortly after receiving a report from the Kansas Department for Children and Families that the victim had disclosed at summer camp that she’d been abused, the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit:

Though Polk was charged with six counts, the girl told police that he raped and otherwise molested her more than two dozen times, describing a number of incidents in detail.

In speaking of one encounter, the girl told police that she had a “feeling of wrongness” and felt that she was an “evil person.”

After obtaining a search warrant, police inspected and collected evidence from a location where much of the alleged abuse had occurred.

The day after interviewing the girl, police interviewed Polk. He initially told them that he didn’t remember molesting the girl but that once she “put” her breast in his hand.

He later told investigators that if the girl said he was molesting her, then “it must be happening.”

“Dustyn stated he was shocked because if he could ‘snap’ enough to have sex with [the victim], what else could he be capable of,” police wrote in the affidavit. “… Dustyn stated ‘I am so terrified that it has’ happened and that he has become the person who molested him as a child.”

After officers took Polk to jail, he said more than once that he believed he was “a monster.”

Polk’s next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21.

In a filing last week, Polk’s appointed attorney, Angela Keck, requested more time before a preliminary hearing takes place. She said she had recently been informed of the status of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s testing of evidence and that the defense and prosecutors were still in “possible plea negotiations.”

“This is a very serious case,” Keck wrote, noting Polk faces a potential life sentence if convicted.

Keck did not immediately respond this week to a request for comment on the allegations in this story.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has declined to release Polk’s mugshot to the Journal-World.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd