Babysitter accused of sexually assaulting 5-year-old in Macomb County

Posted at 5:18 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 18:37:26-04

(WXYZ) — Thirty-six-year-old, Mark Baum from Southfield was taken into custody Saturday night for allegedly sexually assaulting a five-year-old boy in Macomb County that he was hired to babysit.

Baum was hired through and his profile said he has 10 years of babysitting experience.

He's now being held in Macomb County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

"After the sitter had left, the child, the five-year-old, and another sibling approached the parents and told them that the five-year-old boy had been assaulted," said Sergeant Renee Yax, Public Information Officer for the Macomb County Sheriff's Office. "So they immediately acted and contacted us." issued the following statement:

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.

WXYZ talked to Melanie Richards, Director of Kids-TALK Children's Advocacy Center about the abuse, who said, "Sexual abuse is very common. We know right now that about 1 in 8 children will be sexually abused by the time they’re 18. It’s staggering."

Richards says that in 80-90% of child sexual abuse cases, the perpetrator is known to the child and/or the adults.

To reduce the risk of abuse she says making sure your kids know the correct terms for their body parts is critical.

"Children are taught a lot to say 'yes' to an adult," said Richards. "But we can teach children that when it comes to their body, especially the private parts, they have the ability to say no. Another good way to do this without scaring the children is to play the What If game, ‘what if,’ and then fill in the blanks."

Richards also suggests talking with a caretaker specifically about child abuse to let them know you're vigilant.

If you're still uneasy about leaving, Sergeant Yax said; "We would suggest putting cameras in the home, locking up any areas that don’t need to be accessed, and then putting cameras in the home. That way you can access those cameras either during or after, to see exactly what’s going on in the home with your child."

Mark Baum is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, he's scheduled to return to court on August 1st.