Oelwein Mayor Faces Sex Abuse Charges

By Lee Hermiston, The Gazette

OELWEIN, Iowa — The mayor of Oelwein is accused of sexually abusing two underage girls four years ago.

According to the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, Jason J. Manus, 36, who has been mayor of the city since January, was arrested at his home Monday morning. Manus faces five counts of second-degree sexual abuse.

Messages left with Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher and Oelwein City Attorney Ron Vanveldhuizen were not immediately returned Monday morning. City staff directed questions to the sheriff's office.

At-large council member Paul Ryan said he did not know about Manus' arrest and could not comment.

“We have a very good council,” Ryan said.

Oelwein Police Chief Jeremy Logan said his office did not assist Fayette County in their investigation and were only made aware of Manus' arrest after it occurred.

“They have all the details of the investigation,” Logan said. “At this point, our city is still gathering the facts.”

Logan said the city was not going to discuss Manus' arrest.

“We're trying to protect the privacy of the family,” he said.

Manus' arrest comes after a monthlong investigation by the sheriff's office. According to a news release, two juvenile females reported being sexually assaulted in Oelwein. Authorities said the investigation showed that in July and August of 2010, Manus sexually abused the then-14-year-old girl four times and the then-9-year-old girl once. Manus' relationship to the girls was not specified in the news release.

More charges were applicable, but the sheriff's office said they could not be filed because statute of limitations on some of the charges.

Anyone with information on the case, which will be prosecuted by the Iowa Attorney General's Office, is asked to call the Fayette County Sheriff's Office at 563-422-6067, extensions 231 or 232.

Manus' bond has been set at $125,000 cash or surety. Second-degree sexual abuse is a Class B felony punishable by 25 years in prison. If convicted, Manus would also be placed on the sex offender registry.

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