Bethel man charged with sexually abusing child; police suspect 'numerous' victims

A 69-year-old Bethel man who operated a daycare with his wife in their home has been charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old, and investigators believe there are other victims, police said.

Peter Tony was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month and charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor, according to a statement issued by Bethel police. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

Police said Tony and his wife were former foster parents in Bethel.

The charges involve a 4-year-old who was abused over the period of nearly a year, police said.

"The current investigation has identified numerous alleged victims, both in Bethel and outside of Alaska, which have occurred since the 1970s," police said in the statement.

Anyone with information about other cases is asked to contact Officer Amy Davis at the Bethel Police Department, 907-543-3781.

KYUK in Bethel reported that Tony and his late wife, Marilyn, were foster parents for many years and that witnesses had told police that allegations of abuse resulted in them being removed from the program. They operated a daycare out of their home until a few years ago, the station reported.

Anchorage Daily News /