Anchorage foster parent arrested for sexual abuse of child in his care

Suzanna Caldwell

An Anchorage man was charged Wednesday with three counts of sexual abuse of minor for incidents related to a foster child in his care.

In a press release, Anchorage police said Steven L. Pyle, 48, was arrested on three counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. Pyle is a University of Alaska Anchorage assistant term professor in the medical laboratory science program. He and his wife have been foster parents in Alaska since April 2004, according to the Alaska Office of Children's Services.

According to court documents, the allegations against Pyle first came to light at the end of March when Pyle's wife, Glenda, reported that her husband had admitted inappropriately touching a 9-year-old foster daughter in their care. The girl had been in the Pyles' care since May 2013.

Glenda Pyle said she became concerned when one night she awoke to find her husband not in bed. When she got up to find him, he told her he was letting the dog out, though he later admitted he had been in the foster daughter's room. Steven Pyle told his wife that he was only "comforting her and giving her fatherly hugs."

Later, Glenda Pyle confronted Steven Pyle again after speaking to the girl, who said he had touched many parts of her, including her genitals. Steven Pyle admitted to his wife that he had touched the girl "everywhere" but that he did not make it a regular practice. Glenda Pyle recorded the confrontation with her cell phone and turned it into police. The warrant was issued Wednesday and Pyle was arrested the same day.

According to UAA spokeswoman Kristin DeSmith, Pyle was first hired at UAA in 2006 and remains currently on staff. Pyle worked in the medical science laboratory program, part of the allied health science program at UAA.

OCS Director Christy Lawton said in an email the Pyles' foster care license was in good standing and that there were no complaints or provider investigations during the time the family has been licensed. Lawton said there have been no placements in the home since last June and that no foster children live there currently.

In the press release, police said detectives suspect that Pyle may have more victims. They asked anyone with information to call Anchorage police.