The husband of a day care operator has been charged with sexually abusing two children who attended the center and may have molested as many as 40 children over the past 30 years, police said Tuesday.

William Huck Sr. of rural Ste. Genevieve has been charged with 13 counts of first-degree child molestation and four counts of statutory sodomy involving a 4-year-old boy and his sister, who is now 10.

"We know there are more victims," Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Craig said.

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Huck's wife operated the center out of her home, about 50 miles south of St. Louis. She watched five children at the center, which did not have a name and was not licensed by the state. State licensing is required only for day care centers serving six or more children.

The center shut down after Huck's arrest March 25. He remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bond.

Huck, a retired railroad worker, was arrested after the boy told his parents that Huck forced him to perform oral sex, authorities said.

A call to Huck's home went unanswered Tuesday night. A person who answered the phone at the county jail said no information was available Tuesday night on whether Huck had a lawyer.

In court documents, Huck admitted to engaging in sexual conduct with the boy 12 times in the past year, most recently about two weeks before his arrest, while his wife was at the doctor.

The family's two other children had also attended the day care. Huck, in the documents, admitted to molesting the boy's sister but did not say when those incidents occurred.

Huck also told investigators that he molested 40 different children over the past 30 years but offered no details, the documents said.

"Some of these victims ranged from 6 months to 4 1/2 years old," Craig said. "Some of these kids couldn't communicate, and there was no physical evidence."

Huck's wife learned about the abuse only after he was arrested, Craig said.

"In many ways, she's a victim, too," he said.

Huck had no previous arrests and had never been accused of misconduct with children, Craig said.

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