GOP Sheriff Ran School Plagued by Sex Abuse: Documents

Paul Babeu ran DeSisto School in Massachusetts, later shut down
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2012 4:34 PM CST
GOP Sheriff Ran School Plagued by Sex Abuse: Documents
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu speaks at a news conference, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 in Florence, Ariz.   (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Deirdre Hamill)

The Arizona sheriff and Congressional candidate recently caught in a scandal over his gay lover once ran a boarding school that was shut down over abuse allegations, KNXV-TV reports. Paul Babeu was headmaster of the DeSisto School in Stockbridge, Mass., from 1999 to 2001—a time when physical and sexual abuse ran rampant, say former students. Punishments included forcing a student to wear nothing but a sheet to class or sitting in a corner for days or even weeks.

One student with bi-polar disorder was so "cornered" until he urinated and defecated on himself and went to hospital with pneumonia—but was sent back to the corner when he returned to school. Other students were "strip searched" or forced into "sexual abuse" during group showers, according to state documents. Babeu's own sister tells KNXV-TV that he bunked up with a 17-year-old male student, telling her, "I love him." Babeu declined to give an interview but issued a non-denial denial, noting "he was never the target of any investigation or lawsuit." (Read more Paul Babeu stories.)

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