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Paul Babeu, Outed GOP Sheriff, Ran Abusive Private School, Had Relationship With Male Student: Report

Posted: 02/27/2012 11:32 am

Disgraced Arizona congressional candidate and GOP sheriff Paul Babeu is facing yet another round of unseemly charges.

The Pinal County sheriff, who stepped down as Arizona's co-chair for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign amidst allegations he threatened a gay ex-lover with deportation, reportedly served as headmaster for the now-defunct DeSisto School in Stockbridge, Mass. from 1999 to 2001. When Babeu -- a retired major in the Army National Guard and an ex-police officer -- was in charge, the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services launched an investigation into repeated claims of physical and sexual abuse from students at the private boarding school, ABC15 is reporting.

More questionable still: Babeu's older sister Lucy told the news station that she confronted her brother after finding a 17-year-old student from the school, which services troubled teens, living with him. She noted: “I said what is this student from Desisto doing here? He says, 'Lucy, he's my boyfriend. I love him.'"

Lucy claims her brother, once considered one of his state's rising Republican stars, was clearly having a relationship with the student, who has not been identified: "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."

At age 17, the student would have been the legal age of consent in Massachusetts.

Babeu, 43, has denied claims that he threatened former lover Jose Orozco with deportation back to Mexico, but has acknowledged that he is gay. "I'm here to say that all these allegations ... are absolutely completely false except for the issues that refer to me as being gay," he is quoted by the Associated Press is saying. "Because that's the truth."

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |