GERBER. Calif. - A Tehama County man is accused of molesting a child he gained access to while the child was in the care of a day care facility his wife operates.
The Tehama County Sheriff's Office arrested 64-year-old Ralph Martin on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct of a child under 14 years of age.
Martin's wife of 42 years, Virginia Martin said she is shocked by the allegations.
"I thought there would've been some signs of trauma or that something was going on," said his stunned wife.
Virginia said it was around 1 a.m. on Tuesday when the couple was awoken at their Gerber home by investigators asking to talk to Ralph about the allegations.
Virginia has run "Country Kids Day Care" for nearly nine years out of their home.
"This is not okay, it just makes me sick, it makes me want to vomit."
Virginia said she originally thought there was just one child Ralph was accused of molesting but has since learned there might be up to eight children ranging from ages two to 10 and said he has admitted to molesting at least one.
"We've cried together, we've celebrated birthdays with each other and every one of these children. We have been to a lot of their homes. It's just devastating," said Virginia as she wiped away tears.
The day care provider said as soon as she heard the news she notified all families connected to the day care.
"I referred them to go to the Emergency Room to have every child checked out."
Virginia added that taking care of children is her livelihood and she doesn't want her husband's actions to bring her down, and said he's not the man she knew.
"It's just disgusting. He would always speak poorly to our friends and family about pedophiles and now he's accused of this! It's just ridiculous if he was sick he should've been getting help for it, not taking it out on these children."
Ralph's bail was set at $2 million, and he is facing three felony charges.
The Tehama County District Attorney's Office said they plan to release more details about the investigation next week.
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