PINELLAS COUNTY/PALM BEACH COUNTY (PCSO/CW44 News At 10) – The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is requesting contact from potential victims of a former probation officer accused of blackmailing for sexual favors.
Rutherford Jean, age 29 of West Palm Beach, Florida was arrested June 11, 2020 at approximately 11:45 a.m. for two counts of sexual battery, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives began their investigation on October 14, 2019 while the victim was housed as an inmate at the Pinellas County Jail. The victim made a complaint to detention deputies that her probation officer had blackmailed her for sexual favors.
According to detectives, in December 2017, the victim was sentenced to probation for drug charges. The terms of her probation required her to report to a probation officer within 24-hours of her release from jail. When she reported to the Department of Corrections probation office in Clearwater, she was assigned to 29-year-old Rutherford Jean.
Investigators learned that during the first month of probation, Jean conducted a “home check.” He accused the victim of lying about her address and told her she could be violated but said it would be addressed another time.
Jean also held several probation meetings with the victim in his office and advised her he had documented all of her drug tests as clean.
The victim told detectives in March of 2018 that Jean was provided laboratory results from a drug rehab center that she was positive for drugs. In lieu of violating the terms of her probation, Jean picked up the victim at her residence and drove to an unknown location in Pinellas County where he sexually battered her.
Detectives learned of another instance where Jean met the victim at her residence and asked her to enter the front seat of his vehicle. While in his vehicle, Jean instructed her to perform oral sex on him as payment for not violating her probation.
Around July 2018, Jean transferred from the Clearwater probation office to the Palm Beach probation office, but resigned approximately one month later.
Through various investigative techniques and with assistance from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, detectives obtained a DNA sample from Jean. That sample was compared against a semen sample from the victim’s clothing, which was a match.
Pinellas County detectives obtained a warrant for Jean’s arrest. In conjunction with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, detectives arrested Jean at approximately 11:45 a.m. on June 11, 2020.
During an interview with detectives, Jean denied the allegations.
Jean is currently being held at the Palm Beach County Jail where he awaits transportation to Pinellas County.
The crime occurred at various locations throughout Pinellas County.
If you believe you may have been a victim you are urged to contact Pinellas County Detective R. Redman at (727) 582-6200.