Sheriff Paul Babeu's Apologists Make Light of Student Abuse to Defend the Embattled Sheriff

desisto-790789.jpg
Michael DeSisto, founder of DeSisto School, poses with young men. Paul Babeu served as the school's headmaster from 1999 to 2001.
​We recently came across a February 27 segment from Jim Sharpe's talk show on KFYI about Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu's time as headmaster at the DeSisto School in Massachusetts -- a school for troubled teens where state officials found sexual and physical abuse was occurring.

Sharpe and his on-air sidekick were defending Babeu in light of some of the facts that ABC 15 had reported the previous night.

During the show, Sharpe made light of the abusive treatment the students received, comparing them being stripped naked and forced to wear nothing but a bed sheet for as long as a year to toga day in school.

Sharpe: "Well, if the sheets are thick enough, you know. We had toga day at school when I was in high school! We did!"

He also compared the group showers students at DeSisto had to take to P.E. class in high school.

Sharpe: "...state documents say that students ... routinely took group showers, leading to sexual abuse. Now, if they, did you not take group showers when you were in PE?!

Andrew Babinski: Yeah.

Sharpe: "If something bad happened in there, is that the fault of the school or the fault of the executive director? I would say not necessarily -- although if something bad was happening that, then, then something needed to be done to stop it."

He also compared the "cornering" that DeSisto students experienced to your average "time out."

Sharpe: "...one of the other punishments was 'cornering.' And when I heard 'cornering,' I really rolled my eyes."

He goes on to explain that some students were left there for weeks on end; that they were urinating and defecating on themselves.

But, of course, Babeu had no responsibility for what was happening at the school -- why should he? -- He was only the headmaster and executive director.

Sharpe: Now, I'm not sayin' all this just to defend Paul Babeu. I just, what I'm doing is I'm tryin' to lay out for ya' how sometimes these investigative stories work. You know, if you get a name that means something to somebody that's associated with it, then you sell newspapers, you get people to watch our broadcast."

The facts behind the stories about what happened at DeSisto School are laid out in public records from the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services and are recounted by the students who attended the school. Read New Times' interviews with students who attended the school during Babeu's tenure.

Then, Sharpe and company poke fun of Lucy Babeu because of comments she posted on New Times website noting that "Paul has blocked me from seeing the comments and blogging on any article there."

Sharpe: "His sister is claiming that the Sheriff of Pinal County has the ability to block her from commenting on stories on the internet. That's someone who does not have a full grasp, in my opinion, a full grasp of how real life works."

But, it is Sharpe that doesn't seem to have a grasp of what Babeu is capable of, because as it turns out, blocking his sister and attempting to block his Mexican lover from posting comments online is exactly what Babeu was doing.

In an Arizona Daily Star story, Tim Steller reports:

"In November 2010, former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods but by then a private attorney, sent cease-and-desist letters to two Apache Junction news outlets on Babeu's behalf, editors of each publication said. The letter Ed Barker received demanded that he remove comments by Babeu's estranged sister Lucy, said Barker, editor of the Apache Junction News.

The letter said "that I was printing blogs from Babeu's sister about his gay lifestyle, and that I was to immediately cease and desist," Barker said.

It turned out Woods had the wrong news outlet in that first letter: Lucy Babeu had been making comments on the Apache Junction Independent's website. The editor of that publication, Richard Dyer, said he got a cease-and-desist letter in November 2010 and passed it on to the company's webmaster.

Lucy Babeu said her comments were removed, and she was banned from commenting on the site."

And, of course, now we know that Babeu also attempted the same thing to keep his ex-boyfriend silent by getting his attorney Chris DeRose to try to strong-arm the ex into silence.

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69 comments
DNichols
DNichols

I can still see John Mc Cain in his Anti-Immigrant Border Comercial hugging Babeu, and saying; "Now your one of us."

Now I understand what Mc Cain ment.

DNichols
DNichols

"I did not have sexual Relations with that Boy."

My Sister is lying!

EdnaMae
EdnaMae

This gets worse by the day, but, Studboi is off to Dallas next month to
speak to a gay conservative group and get more money to stay in the race, wonder
how his being the face of the GAY GOP voters is going to play out in District 4,
somehow, not good I would say, but, I'm sure he will find a sexy Latin man or
two in Big D to help keep his calm and collected before making himself out to be
a victim.

And, I also must wonder if the local 'media' will cover his speaking to a
gay group, not that it should be a big deal, but, alas he was in the closet all
the while dealing and smiling with some of the biggest homophobes in this state,
so, its a fair question.

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

The Bald Bunion is indeed Mr. Herbert on Family Guy.

The simple fact that he abuses children says all I need to know about him: Evil, sick, and twisted.

I have never lived in Pinal County (thank God) so I have never had to rely on a sick pervert like the Bald Bunion for police services.

Babeu needs to be booted out. Now. 

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

Ms. Alonzo,

I just had a thought. There are probably boatloads of victims here. Could I link the local news in Boston over to your stories of Babeu?

Since abuse went on in this school, and I don't ever remember it being on the news (I lived in MA for 12 years, including during the time the Bald Bunion of Pinal County was headmaster of this school) the local news in Boston may be more inclined to speak to victims and you.

Fox 25 in Boston has a great undercover reporter and people in the Bay State need to know about this sick, twisted fiend.

 

Andrew
Andrew

Is it true that the Sheriff's brother (who is a Pinal County Justice of Peace) shared the house that Babeu took his 17 year old student to play with?
I hope Lucy can be interviewed in depth about all of this to bring out the truth and clear her name.

Again Grant Woods strikes
Again Grant Woods strikes

Good to see Grant Woods AGAIN in some sort of threatening and feeble mode.

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

What does Grant Woods have to do with anything? The guy's a high-priced Phoenix based lawyer. 

Helen
Helen

Read the article.  Babeu had Woods send cease-and-desist(o) letters to area newspapers threatening them if they didn't delete his sister's (true) comments about him.  It worked; he got her banned.  How's that for defending freedom?

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

Grant probably got a huge paycheck from Babeu's campaign to issue the cease and desist orders.

I wonder how Grant feels now, knowing the truth about the Bald Bunion and his sister, Lucy?

ltc444
ltc444

The same attempts to silence other critical voices were made on behalf the behalf of Babeau.  One critic had deputies posted near his house every night for months on end.  When they ran short of deputies the Gold Canyon patrol, Volenteers who drove an old patrol car with "COPS", took over. .  One good thing about the harrassment.  Response times for dog complaints from a major out of state donor were 5 minutes.  Response times for Domestic violence reports remained at the standard 1 hr and 45minutes.  Apparantly harrassing critics had a higher priority.

AZ FAIL
AZ FAIL

Where is that creepy picture of Mike DeSisto from, anyway? And whatever happened to him? (He went to prison I hope.)

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Isn't it the creepiest of pictures?  Somebody said it was from the cover of a People magazine. I heard the guy is dead now.

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

Yes. Michael DeSisto died in 2003 or 2004. Shortly after his death, the DeSisto School closed permanently.

Helen
Helen

Not the cover, but the front-piece photo for the article on him. 

Norman Cummins
Norman Cummins

 he is dead..thank god..sorry to sound so mean

ltc444
ltc444

DeSisto is dead.  Babeu blamed the abuse on DeSisto.  That is probably why Babeu was not charged and did not serve jail time.

Norman Cummins
Norman Cummins

If he had any decency he would resign 

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

That's the whole point. He has no decency. He crossed that line a long time ago and never crossed back. Don't hold your breath waiting for decency from this piece of garbage.

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

Babeu is right on par with Pearce, Arpaio, Thomas, Horne, Huppenthal, GED Jan, and a few others...

Arrest and perp-walks are in order for the Bald Bunion & Co.

Norman Cummins
Norman Cummins

 What scum..no decency about him.If he had any though he would not have been head of that disgusting school

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Jason, please check the statute of limitations on that in the state it occured.

I've told you before we should get together. Let me know when you can have lunch. email me mekindt2000@yahoo.com

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

One has to wonder if he abused children at the DeSisto School to repress his own sexual abuse at the hands of a priest?

I was sexually abused and I would never abuse someone else. Why continue the cycle? Today I am a 25 year old man looking to study law, become a lawyer, and serve in the Air Force. The abuse happened when I was 7 or 8. My mom brought a convicted child molester (I remember seeing his rap sheet) into the house. He would pull me into the bathroom and force me to touch his penis. He would touch me. I was 7, maybe 8. I didn't know I could report the abuse to the police. If I had, maybe he would still be in jail.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

 Wrong again Norman. The people who look down on you are the real trash of our society.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Never judge yourself through other people's eyes. Just be you and be happy. Screw people who don't like that.

Norman Cummins
Norman Cummins

 Thanks,I am..but there is still the stigma..people look down on me like I am trash

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Being mentally ill does not make you a bad person. At least you acknowledge it and I hope you are getting the help you need.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Exactly, who would want to be in that type of environment willingly? Probably somebody who enjoyed it or needed it in some perverse way.

He has spoke in the past of his sexual abuse from a priest....who is he to continue any type of abuse or any type of speaking out against the subject?

He needs help. Serious psychological help....although I doubt it would matter much.

You seem like a good person. He isn't.

Ddesertdawg
Ddesertdawg

What is the record for the number of FORMER radio shows any individual has? My guess Jim Sharpe wins hands down. To defend the HEADmaster who needs a 17 year boyfriend and be a RUMPranger with Jose, Sharpe should quit radio broadcasting and keep working to improve the believability on his awful Dentist commercials. 

NorthAdamsRemembers
NorthAdamsRemembers

Mr. Sharpe probably can explain away Babeu's involvement with acts of SODOMY simply as "FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY," (ARS 28-730a in the state traffic code). Babeu, the heralded sheriff would consider that a minor moving violation (though often he might have been with a minor).  Sharpe would excuse Babeu and blame the "other guy" for UNSAFE BACKING.

Good explanations, Sharpe, for serious acts of abuse. You still don't get the gravity of the Paul Babeu past and present misbehaviors. 
 
A closed private school
gave more reason for Babeu to brag about his importance there. Who would
ever know? Time has passed. Claim the good and since no one knows about
it or wants to bring up the bad, it just might work.  It did for a while
but that is over, Babeu.

Words. Chosen agendas. Political favorites. There is a great media market here for radio and there are great hosts. Babeu found a prime roost that treated him well. Mr. Young drools over McCain and Babeu the same way.

Babeu regularly sought out the KFYI folks just like he did Fox News and the big ones nationally. And KFYI and the big ones gave him honored, unchallenged status as a favorite guest. Fine, it is their station, their choices. And Babeu enjoyed being worshipped there.

Freedom is something a radio talk show host should be able to have. But what about a station's responsibility? Now that Babeu has come out as being the well-spoken "village idiot," how does Sharpe sweep that away?  He hasn't and he won't. You folks owed your listeners better, then and now.

Babeu used the endless opportunities at KFYI for his words to come out unvetted, for his explanations for problems to be accepted or glossed over. He was never seriously challenged on anything. Several times Broomhead and Babeu enjoyed talking about their biceps, who could do the best pushups and who looked the best when they did them. Great exchanges to have to listen to during drive time. 

Sharpe, Young (and Larson), Broomhead. All three are (were) great conservative talk show hosts. When it came to Paul Babeu, they usually worshipped and often groveled for his every word. Again, freedom and choices.

As a station, the three fell in line with Babeu being the great sheriff and then with him being the great candidate.  Now things are disintegrating quickly, they answer the Babeu issues with sweeping and humor or ... silence?  Silence is not a sought after characteristic for great talk. They got taken by Babeu and his team but it appears they won't let it go. Hang on there follks, as that is why you are paid the big bucks.

Serious allegations about Paul Babeu and his behavior have surfaced. Many are yet to be explored and reported. Sorry, this isn't going away.  Faulting Ms. Alonzo for writing and reporting about this morally wrong individual (not just sexually, but to the core) is a wrong approach.

Take your concerns to Mr. Babeu. Let him explain. Settle for nothing less than the man himself. His underlings, Gaffney, DeRose and LaSota will never craft the simple, honest explanations the people of Pinal County deserve. Take the risk and tell the truth on yourself, Babeu.

Babeu wants you attacking the media. He wants you concerned about his sexual-identity issues instead of addressing his wrongful acts in running his office as sheriff. Babeu doesn't want questions asked and facts uncovered about his intermingling of funds while he has been sheriff. He wants you to put aside the questions about parts of his military career (especially the end) that are now being reviewed. He is not going to be happy. Babeu doesn't want his family brought into any of this (except his sister Lucy). That will change. He bellieves he comes from a rich heritage. You will be able to decide that.

Adjust to the work being put in by Ms. Alonzo and other writers and reporters. At least be open minded enough to consider what she is producing.

There is plenty yet to come about many areas of his life as Paul Babeu. Due to HIS life choices, he has made himself a "target rich environment."

Blame him, not the media.

Alex
Alex

Maybe ALL of the conservative talk show hosts at KFYI were getting late night BJ's in the parking lot from Sheriff Studboi.

Bea Bustamanre
Bea Bustamanre

I hear he's really tight with John Mccain too. They were gonna build a fence together.

Helen
Helen

How can this guy live with himself?  Sharpe pretty obviously got the talking point about Babeu's sister, if not the whole sleazy segment, from Babeu's own flaks.  It's exactly the same argument they put out later that day in a smear sheet they posted online.  And we now know that Babeu knew at the time that it was a lie.  He certainly knew that his sister hadn't just imagined that he'd had his lawyers threaten area newspapers if they didn't delete her comments and, evidently, ban her from commenting.  He really did silence her, and then he used a toady at a major radio station to gaslight her over it.  It's sick.

But what I want to know is whether Jim Sharpe was in on it; or, as seems more likely, did Babeu just play him for a patsy?  Was he lied to, too, given a crib sheet of malicious lies in the knowledge that he'd faithfully repeat it on the radio?  You'd think he'd be ashamed of himself.

Alex
Alex

Maybe Sharpe was getting late night BJ's in the parking lot from Sheriff Studboi.

Helen
Helen

Like his tempestuous relationship w/ Jose, Babeu's had his ups & downs w/ Sharpe.  But Sharpe was in on the creation of his BorderSheriffs.com money-raising scheme & has been a reliable agitprop asset.  They traveled to DC together last April, w/ Sharpe acting like Babeu's de facto body man.  He can't credibly claim ignorance of the man's character.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Ups and downs....ins and outs..... anything else we need or not need to know?

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