WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A judge today sentenced a former YMCA employee to just over 27½ years in prison for sexually assaulting two children.
Twenty-two-year-old Caleb Gaston was sentenced on two counts of rape. Earlier this year, he pleaded no contest to the rape charges. The incidents happened in January 2018 while he was working at he fitness center’s KidsZone at the downtown Wichita branch.
During the sentencing hearing, an impact statement written by the mother of the 4-year-old victim at the time was read to the court. In it the mother recounts the day of January 26,2018 when she dropped her daughter off at the YMCA KidsZone and saw Gaston, wishing they never would have crossed paths.
‘Little did you know that four year old girl knew exactly what was going on around her and could express herself in details of what kind of monster hurt her that day,” the prosecuter read.
“My daughter will one day know that because of her braveness no other kids will get hurt by you.” The prosecuter read.
The father and mother of the second 3-year-old victim at the time also spoke to the court. The mother spoke through tears saying she has chosen to forgive Gaston so that her family can heal.
The mother said, “So I’m choosing forgiveness to relinquish any power that this terrible event has over my family today, tomorrow and for the rest of our lives.”
The father said, “‘I know what you did, it’s not ok but I refuse to let this one incident hook a chain in my side for the rest of my life.”
Gaston’s lawyer reminded the court despite Gaston’s growing up in a religious family, his drug addictions later in life influenced his poor decisions.
Gaston also spoke in court. He said he got caught up in drugs after graduating from high school. He said since being in jail he’s taken time to strengthen his relationship with God. He asked the families to forgive him.
“I’m very sorry,” said Gaston. “Truly sorry for what the children and the families have had to go through. If I could take back my part in all that, I would do just that,” said Gaston.
The judge handed down the maximum sentence. The District Attorney believes the sentence was fair and a good resolution to the community and the two families.
“The officers, the exploiting missing child unit did great work here identifying these victims, putting a case together despite the obvious hurdles we had to overcome and so I felt this was a great resolution,”said Marc Bennet, Sedgwick County District Attorney.
The earliest Gaston could be released is after 24 years. Gaston will have to register as a sex offender.
The judge sentenced Gaston to 165 months for count 1 of rape, 165 months for count 2 of rape for a total of 330 months. Hi will serve them consecutively. @KSNNews— Jasmine Haynes (@journalistjas) April 26, 2019