Murder-suicide suspected in deaths of couple investigated for teen sex assault

Aric Babbitt (left) and Matthew Deyo

Aric Babbitt (left) and Matthew Deyo Dawn Ennis

The shocking news that a Minnesota teacher and his husband apparently died at their own hands comes on the heels of another unsettling revelation: the couple were under investigation for a sexual assault on a minor, allegedly more than one.

The bodies of Aric Babbitt, 40, a longtime teacher at Lincoln Center Elementary in South St. Paul, was found with that of his husband, 36-year-old Matthew Deyo, in Washington State. Police ruled it a murdersuicide.

An unnamed juvenile boy and his parents told South St. Paul police of an ongoing sexual relationship he had with Babbitt and Deyo, according to a Dakota County court document recently made public. The victim reportedly turned in Polaroid pictures of himself naked with Babbitt.

Babbitt and Deyo allegedly drove the boy to a hotel as well as to Babbitt’s cabin for sex, and provided him with marijuana and alcohol.

According to sources, Babbitt was a mentor to the boy after he came out as gay, and another student made similar allegations of sexual contact with the couple.

On August 17th, Babbitt was suspended with pay by his school. The Star-Tribune reported the couple borrowed a gun and several rounds of ammunition from Deyo’s brother on the same day in mid-August that police tried to get a statement, and they headed west. The paper said a kayaker found their bodies with gunshot wounds on a beach on Lopez Island Aug. 25, and police discovered a suicide note.

According to a court document obtained by the Star-Tribune, Deyo was training to be a chiropractor. Babbitt was hired by the school district in 2002, and had taught grades 1, 2, 5 and 6 at Lincoln Center Elementary. He was supposed to teach fourth grade this school year, which started Sept. 6th.

The couple’s parents couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. Babbitt’s father, Dana, was superintendent of the South St. Paul school district from 2003 to 2007.

Watch a report on the investigation from WCCO, below.

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