Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Embattled sheriff once ran boarding school, lived with male student

Monday, February 27, 2012

PHOENIX — Embattled Pinal County, Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu — who came out as gay amid allegations that he threatened to have an ex-boyfriend deported — once ran a Massachusetts boarding school with a history of physical and sexual abuse, and for a time lived with one of the school’s male students.

According to a new report by KNXV-TV, for three years, from 1999 to 2001, Babeu ran The DeSisto School in in Stockbridge, Mass.

Paul Babeu

The school was plagued with controversy, including allegations of that students were forced to wear sheets, sit facing walls for hours, undergo strip searches and take group showers.

KNXV reported that “several students” knew a secret about Babeu, that his sister Lucy Babeu discovered one day after visiting his home that Paul Babeu was living with one of his male students:

“Lucy Babeu told the ABC15 Investigators she confronted her brother after finding a student from DeSisto school living with Babeu.

“I said what is this student from Desisto doing here? He says, ‘Lucy, he’s my boyfriend. I love him’.”

Lucy Babeu told us her brother was having a relationship with the male student.

“I said Paul get a hold of yourself here,” said Lucy. “You were his teacher! You were his Executive Director! You can’t do this.”

KNXV-TV did not identify the former student, but reported that at the time he was 17, the legal age of consent in Massachusetts.

Watch the report here:

The school closed voluntarily in June 2004, three years after Babeu’s tenure, amid accusations of failing to create a safe environment for its students.

Babeu, 43, who is seeking the GOP nomination for an Arizona congressional seat, publicly came out as gay earlier this month, after news broke that he allegedly threatened to deport his former boyfriend, Jose Orozco, who is Hispanic, if their past relationship was made public.

A rising star in the Arizona Republican party, Babeu had also been serving as co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Arizona, a position he resigned at the same time as coming out.

Babeu remains a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s fourth congressional district, says if he’s elected to Congress he’ll support pro-LGBT initiatives and help change perceptions lawmakers have about gay people, reported the Washington Blade.

Archives: , , , , ,

Filed under: Arizona

10 more reader comments:

  1. I hope he makes amends to any mistakes he´s made and find peace with himself,after all,he´s come out and he´s one of us.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 12:04pm
  2. I mean,from what I read in the news itself,he said he will fight for our lgbt rights.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 12:05pm
  3. This story keeps getting better. I’m sure this is not the end of it.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 12:14pm
  4. “says if he’s elected to Congress he’ll support pro-LGBT initiatives and help change perceptions lawmakers have about gay people”
    Your kidding, right ? This joker is more like the reason Gays have a bad name to start with ! I hope he makes a full amends and gets right with himself.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 12:33pm
  5. And….?

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 1:05pm
  6. I don’t feel he is a candidate worth following, nor voting for, with what I am reading.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 1:08pm
  7. interesting

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 1:53pm
  8. Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 3:49pm
  9. Unfortunately, the right wing will seize on this and use it to say “See? They are dangerous to society!” Makes me sick. I hope he makes full amends for any past wrongs. Fact is, the vast majority of sex abuse victims are girls, molested by a male relative.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 6:24pm
  10. It is very offensive that being gay is so often associated with child sexual abuse. Be truthful. Pedophilia is pedophilia but more often than not it is straight, not gay.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 9:27pm