by: Jennifer Bauer
An elderly man is accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl in Santa Fe. Thomas Joseph Perthuis is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. Detectives say the victim had been staying after school at his home on Tower Road, where his wife ran an in-home day care.
A counselor and the child’s mother, who is also a teacher, reported the incident to Santa Fe ISD police, who then reported it to the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 21.
Deputies say Perthuis then put himself in the hospital which prevented detectives from talking to him about the allegations until Tuesday.
According to detectives, six other kids, who also stay at the daycare, were interviewed and one of them also admitted to being touched by Perthuis.
Neighbors told Local 2 Perthuis’ wife always had kids over and that she took care of babies, toddlers and school-aged children.
“I do feel sorry for her,” said Mary Hernandez, who lives down the street. “I don’t think she knew he was like that.”
Hernandez said she hasn’t seen her neighbors since the allegations surfaced and deputies confirm Perthuis moved out of the Sante Fe home.
“He doesn’t live there,” Hernandez said. “He moved out shortly there after, we seen him loading up all his stuff and leaving.”
Child Protective Services has also gotten involved, they said the daycare was run illegally and wasn’t regulated by the state but should have been.
Perthuis, 76, is in the Galveston County Jail on $100,000 bond.