Wichita YMCA employee accused of raping 4-year-old girl worked in Kid Zone

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Wichita police have arrested a YMCA employee for allegedly raping a 4-year-old girl at the downtown branch.

Officers and the Exploited and Missing Child Unit on Monday investigated the report of a sexual assault that happened at the YMCA at 402 North Market. Officer Charley Davidson said the 21-year-old suspect was arrested and booked on Wednesday.

Booking records identified the suspect as Caleb Wayne Gaston. He was charged Thursday with rape of a victim under the age of 14, a spokesperson with the Sedgwick County DA's office said.

Officer Davidson confirmed the alleged victim is a 4-year-old girl.

"There are some sick people in our world," said YMCA member Kristen Shelton. "I was surprised to learn about it and I always feel safe when I'm here."

Member Hilda Serna said, "It's horrific. I can't believe that really happened and that nobody caught on to it, especially how busy the gym is all the time."

A spokesperson with the YMCA confirmed that Gaston worked within Kid Zones at both the east and downtown locations. 

"The YMCA is currently in the process of identifying and notifying the families of children who may have interacted with Mr. Gaston during his time of employment at the Y," the spokesperson said in an email to KAKE News.

Gaston was held on $100,000 bond Friday morning. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 15.

Authorities did not release additional information about the case.

The YMCA released the following statement Thursday:

"The YMCA was notified by the local authorities today that an employee of the Downtown YMCA had been arrested and charged for raping a minor under that age of 14 on YMCA premises.

We are deeply shocked and concerned by this incident, and our prayers go out to those involved.

The YMCA has launched an internal investigation into the situation and is cooperating fully with the Wichita Police Department on this matter.

Because this is an ongoing investigation, we are not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the case at this time.

Safety is a top priority at the Y. While we have rigid hiring policies and procedures in place to prevent this type of incident from ever occurring, we will be reviewing our hiring and safety practices as a result of this incident..."

Gaston's Facebook page also says he works at a local preschool, but he was not listed on its side. The school declined to comment.

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