61-year-old Jackie Lee Pittman, a licensed foster parent and Macomb County Adoption Board member, is accused of raping a teenaged girl. Although there are no foster children currently living with Pittman since his wife passed away from cancer four months ago, the allegations are said to stem from an incident that took place in July of this year.
According to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s office, Pittman is charged with two counts of Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. Under Michigan law, Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct refers to penetration of an underage victim, and is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.
In addressing the situation in a news release, the Prosecutor said that, “We owe so much to the service and sacrifice of the many dedicated Michigan foster parents, who do such a tremendous job providing a secure home to our most vulnerable children. These acts violate that sacred trust. My office stands with the great majority of foster workers who dedicate their lives to protect young people from harm. They will be the first to condemn this perversion of duty.”
According to police records, Pittman is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with his 16-year-old foster daughter on July 28th of 2016. The incident was reported to Child Protective Services, who in turn reported the allegations to law enforcement. An investigation was conducted, and the findings resulted in criminal charges.
After his arrest, Pittman appeared for his arraignment in Shelby Township via video teleconference, and was granted a bail of $25,000 by Visiting Judge Matthew Rumora. Rumora also told him that if he posts bail, he is to have no contact of any kind with his alleged victim.
Several of Pittman’s relatives appeared in court during his arraignment. His sister, Carolyn Mullins, spoke to the Judge and said that Pittman was a good brother, a good foster father, and a hard worker, but that the death of his wife has caused him to “temporarily lose his mind.” Relatives also told the Judge that Pittman had been a strict foster father that spanked kids, and had been investigated by CPS on several occasions in the past.
Pittman, who is retired, has no prior criminal record, and was a foster father for 10 years prior to his wife’s death. He is currently an instructor/trainer who works three times a week to recertify paramedics, and recently received a presidential award from the Red Cross for having been an outstanding volunteer.
A not guilty plea was entered on Pittman’s behalf. His next court appearance is scheduled for September 6th. According to Bob Wheaton, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, CPS is aware of the allegations against Pittman, and are currently conducting an investigation into his foster license.