Gary Gruber is Accused of Molesting Buddy's Daughters, Ages 5, 8 and 13

When do you know your friend isn't really your friend? Santa Ana police investigators would point to the case of

Gary Gruber

. The 48-year-old befriended a fellow he met while both were serving sentences at Theo Lacy Jail. They went on to attend alcohol recovery programs together and, once on the outside, they continued to hang out. Indeed, the buddies were so tight that, when the friend and his wife would go out Saturday nights, they would leave their kids with "Uncle Gary."

Bad move.

"Uncle" Gary Gruber

The couple's 13-year-old daughter confessed to a church counselor Wednesday night that she was repeatedly molested by Gruber over the past three years. He allegedly had the girl sleep with him in his bed, beginning when she was 10.

Follow-up investigation led to accusations that Gruber also had his way with the girl's sisters, ages 5 and 8, according to Santa Ana police, who add there is no evidence the man molested the couple's two sons.

Gruber was arrested Thursday at his home in the 1200 block of East Fairhaven, Santa Ana, on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, sexual penetration by threat of retaliation and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Santa Ana police say the family is now getting counseling.

The parents apparently had no idea there was anything wrong with Uncle Gary until their daughter made her confession this week.


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