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Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu Once Ran Abusive Boarding School In MA, Lived With 17 Year Old Male Student

Investigative reporters from ABC15 – TV in Phoenix, AZ have uncovered that Arizona Sheriff Paul Babue who is currently under investigation for abusing his power and threatening his Mexican ex-lover with deportation was in the late 90’s was involved with the running of The DeSisto School, a Massachusetts boarding school with a history of physical and sexual abuse, such as forcing students to wear sheets, sit facing walls for hours, undergo strip searches and take group showers and  also had a sexual relationship with the male student. 

The student who was 17 at the time and of legal age in Massachusetts.  Babue at that time would have been in his early 30’s.

ABC15 adds:

Several students we spoke with say they also knew a secret about Babeu. It was a secret that Babeau’s older sister said she discovered one day after visiting his home. 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.”

ABC15 is not identifying the former student. He has not responded to our interview requests. At the time, he was 17 which is the legal age of consent in Massachusetts.

“He was of age. He would be what we considered a high school senior,” said Nielsen

Babeu left the school in 2001. In 2004 the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services ordered DeSisto administrators to suspend their admissions process. In a letter, commonwealth officials charged the school had “an environment that endangers the life, health, and safety of children enrolled.”


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact:

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