Gerber man charged with child sex crimes
A Gerber man, whose wife runs the in-home Country Kids Daycare, has been accused of child molestation.
Ralph Elvis Martin, 64, was arraigned this week on charges of oral copulation of a child under 10, forcible oral copulation of a child under 14 and lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 14 filed against him in Tehama County Superior Court.
Martin was arrested at 1:32 a.m. Tuesday on the 7700 block of Redland Avenue in Gerber, by a Tehama County sheriff's detective.
On Thursday, Martin appeared in Tehama County Superior Court for felony arraignment and a bail hearing, at which time Judge Jonathan W. Skillman set his bail at $2 million.
Since then, investigators said they have identified seven other reported victims. Of the eight children, seven are girls, and the ages of all the children range from 1 to 10.
Sheriff's Detective Chad Dada said Martin's wife has been cooperative and is not a suspect in the case. She and the daycare, however, are under investigation by the state licensing agency.
Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen said the charges stem from Martin's access to a child while at his wife's licensed daycare facility in Gerber.
The investigation, initiated by the Tehama County Sheriff's Department, is a joint operation between the Sheriff's Department and District Attorney's Office.
"With the investigation continuing, additional victims, as well as additional charges have been identified. Additional charges are forthcoming," Cohen said.
Martin is next scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 14 to enter a plea.
Cohen is also asking for the public's assistance in identifying any other potential victims.
"If anyone has any information concerning this case I would ask you to please contact sheriff's Detective Chad Dada or District Attorney's Investigator Dave Baker," Cohen said.
Call Dada at 529-7920 or Baker at 529-3590.