Babeu camp attacks sister over new allegations (updated)

2012-02-28T11:30:00Z 2012-03-05T10:14:29Z Babeu camp attacks sister over new allegations (updated)Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 28, 2012 11:30 am  • 

(This item is updated by removing the dossier that Rose Law Group put up and reframing the allegations made by the Babeu camp about Lucy.)

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu's campaign launched a counterattack late Monday on a key source for a story broadcast Sunday by a Phoenix TV station.

The source: Babeu's sister Lucy.

The Rose Law Group, which has supported Babeu as part of the Border Sheriffs group, published a two-page dossier of what they said was Lucy's medical history and alleged behavioral problems. The dossier attempts to undermine Lucy Babeu's credibility by citing her saying she has mental illness and lost custody of her children, among other things.

Lucy Babeu was one of two sources in the KNXV story who alleged her brother Paul, now a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in congressional district 4, had an inappropriate relationship with a student.

It also put out a letter from Joshua Geyer, who was a student at DeSisto School when Babeu directed the school. In the letter (attached), Geyer denies having had "any inappropriate sexual relationship with Paul Babeu." The letter is not notarized or a sworn statement.

All this came in response to Sunday night's story on KNXV, in which the station reported that Babeu had presided over abuse at the school and  had an inappropriate relationship with a student when he was headmaster at the school.

KNXV was the first to report this allegation, but not the first to investigate it. I've attempted to contact Josh Geyer several times over the last few months to ask him about his relationship with Babeu. Last Monday he called back and declined to discuss the situation.

While Geyer denied any "inappropriate" relationship with Babeu, he  acknowledged being a student at DeSisto and he did not deny having a relationship. In Massachusetts, the age of consent for sex is 17, KNXV reported.

For her part, Lucy Babeu said today "I could sue the hell out of Paul. This is slanderous."

She cited several portions of the dossier that she said are false, including that she doesn't have contact with her son Zachary and that she takes illegal drugs or unauthorized prescription drugs. She says she doesn't.

Asked whether Paul couldn't deem her criticisms of him as slanderous too, she said no.

"I don't say nothing but the truth," Lucy Babeu said from her home in North Adams, Mass., the Babeu family's hometown.

KNXV has broadcast two follow-up stories on Babeu's tenure at DeSisto School. In the most recent one, a former DeSisto student says the school's unorthodox punishments grew worse when Babeu became director of the school.

Brady McCombs and I have reported in the Star and online about the DeSisto school's controversial methods. Here's a blog item that explained more about the school.

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About this blog

When you're a reporter digging deep, you turn up a lot of dirt. But that doesn't mean you can put all the good dirt in the story.

I've found myself with a lot of extra, good dirt in my new role as senior reporter (hence, Señor Reporter), writing primarily for the Arizona Daily Star's Sunday paper.

Check in often, and let's see what we can turn up.

Contact Tim Steller at (520) 807-8427 or tsteller@tucson.com

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