KINGSTON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Martin and Linda Thomas say they've had a long and happy life together so far, but it just got complicated.
"We've been married 41 years and Saturday was the first night I couldn't tell him good night - and it hurt," said Linda Thomas.
That's because deputies arrested Martin and took him to jail, after a grand jury indicted him for raping a girl younger than 13. The indictment cites five times between 2009 and last April.
"I never touched that kid in any way," said Martin Thomas.
Thomas claims he's innocent. He said the girl made the whole thing up because he wouldn't allow her to go to a friend's house - a decision he made because the the friend claimed her Dad molested her.
"You can't go home with people like that - I said, 'If he does it to them, he's going to do it to you.' She got mad and went to cussing me - she called me everything but a human," said Thomas.
Thomas and his wife said the girl is easily manipulated. They believe when she heard her friend talk about sexual assault, she copied the story.
Thomas said the girl claimed it all happened in the woods, but said that's not true because they were never alone together in the woods.
"When we went to go get firewood and stuff, all of us would go back in the woods to cut wood and haul it out," he said.
On top of being charged with five counts of child rape, Thomas has another problem: he's recovering from kidney cancer. As tough as that battle is, he spoke out because he says he's an innocent man.
Thomas is due in court in November.