Man who baby-sat Macomb Co. boy, 5, charged with criminal sexual conduct

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Southfield man hired to baby-sit a 5-year-old boy in Macomb County has been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct, authorities announced Monday.

Mark Eric Baum, 36, was arraigned through the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township on two felony counts, records show.

He remains at the Macomb County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

On Saturday night, Macomb County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a Macomb Township home, where the residents reported that their son had been sexually assaulted by Baum, who they had obtained through Care.com, investigators said in a statement.

"The disclosure of inappropriate touching was made by the 5-year-old and witnessed by a second older child in the home," according to the release. "Parents immediately contacted police and an investigation was started."

Baby sitters listed through Care.com are asked to complete an annual background check, according to the website.

Baum's profile said he had 10 years of experience, sheriff's officials said Monday.

"He has babysat for this family on one prior occasion, and it is unknown how many other babysitting jobs he has received through this service or elsewhere," they said.

In a statement Monday night, a Care.com representative told The Detroit News: “We are deeply disturbed by this incident and our thoughts are with the family at this time. We can confirm that this individual did have a profile on our platform which has been removed. Additionally, we’ve taken steps to prevent his re-enrollment in the future and are contacting families with whom we believe he may have interacted on our platform about this development. We are in contact with law enforcement and stand ready to assist in their investigation. Given that this is an open investigation, we will not be commenting further.”

Baum was arrested by the Southfield Police Department at the request of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.

The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office authorized the charges against him.

He must wear a tether if released. A probable cause conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 1.