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Former Bethel foster parent pleads guilty to child abuse

Posted: February 26, 2014 - 12:03am

ANCHORAGE — A former Bethel foster parent and day care operator will be sentenced in June after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

Peter Tony, 70, entered the plea Monday in Bethel Superior Court, the Anchorage Daily News reported. He had faced seven felony counts.

In the first case, Tony pleaded guilty to two consolidated counts of sexually abusing a girl in 2012. His wife was baby-sitting the girl.

In a second case, Tony pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a minor in 1998. The victim was a 12-year-old girl who said she would wake up to find Tony touching her.

Tony faces a sentence of five to 99 years for each of the first charges and one to 10 years on the third, which pre-dates new sentencing guidelines.

Tony also admitted to two aggravating factors. He acknowledged that he was more than 10 years older than his victims and that he repeatedly abused them.

Prosecutors said Tony likely abused other children. He and his late wife, Marilyn Tony, operated a state-licensed foster care home for 14 years until 1998. They operated a day care center after that.

Tony’s 48-year-old stepdaughter, Kimberley Bruesch of Ketchikan, has said she was abused by Tony when she was 8 years old. The Ketchikan woman said her two sisters also were abused as children and that they committed suicide as adults.

The Associated Press usually does not identify people who may be victims of sexual abuse, but Bruesch has spoken publicly about her allegations. She could not press charges because the statute of limitations had expired.

“I am glad he can no longer harm children and hope that others can learn from this case and speak up about abuse that happened to them decades ago,” she wrote Monday in an email to the Daily News.

Charges were filed in two cases were evidence existed, said prosecutor June Stein.

“There were no other victims who came forward about whom we could prove charges,” Stein said.

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