Riley County Police arrested a 44-year-old Manhattan man Friday afternoon in connection to alleged sex crimes reported to have occurred over several years.

Joshua Penabaz was being held Friday on $1 million bond for numerous charges of rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated criminal sodomy. RCPD says an investigation is ongoing.

Due to the nature of the crimes, no further information is being released.

In an email to parents late Friday, USD 383 Director of Early Learning Elisabeth Nelson confirmed that Penabaz, who worked as a nurse at College Hill Early Learning Center, voluntarily resigned his position earlier in the day Friday. Nelson says the district has been in contact with RCPD and it appears the investigation has no ties to USD 383 other than being the former employer of Penabaz.

RCPD is requesting anyone with additional information or concerns to contact RCPD at 785-537-2112.

It’s the second such investigation of someone who worked with kids in USD 383 in less than a year. In early June, RCPD arrested 31-year-old Aaron Zachry at the Northview pool on charges of sexual exploitation of a child. Zachry was employed as a paraprofessional at Northview Elementary. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 25 in Riley County District Court.


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