Day care owner says she had no clue husband was allegedly abusing children

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 3 at 7:14 PM

SANTA FE, Texas -- A Galveston County day care owner says she had no clue her husband was allegedly sexually abusing kids in her care.

She claims she kicked her husband out of the house after he confessed to her.

Thomas Joseph Perthuis, 76, is accused of sexual assaulting a 4-year-old girl and inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl.

Deputies say the investigation started back in February when the 4-year-old told a school counselor what happened.

According to the Galveston County Sherriff’s Office, Perthuis checked himself into a hospital for a mental evaluation around that same time. That delayed an arrest in the case.

Investigators began speaking with kids at the home day care in the 4500 block of South Tower Road in Santa Fe.

That’s when an 11-year-old girl told authorities that Perthuis had fondled her.

“I knew absolutely nothing about it. He called me and told me. I told him to leave,” explained the suspect’s wife, who didn’t want her name published. “He admitted it to me.”

The wife of Thomas Perthuis told KHOU that there weren’t any warning signs.

“I knew absolutely nothing,” she claimed. “I’m mad and upset and furious.”

Neighbors viewed the 76-year-old as a harmless grandfather. Parents trusted him around their kids, which make the accusations so much worse.

“I hope he gets everything he deserves,” said neighbor Shirley Drager.

Capt. Barry Cook of the Galveston County Sherriff’s Office says the home daycare is not licensed.

CPS licensing has been notified.

“That’s why our children do not go to day care. We don’t even want them in public schools, but we have to send them,” said neighbor Tammy Dickey.

Perthuis is being held in the Galveston County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Deputies say there may be more victims.

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