EXCLUSIVE - The ABC15 Investigators have uncovered physical and sexual abuse allegations at a boarding school, run at one time by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. We began digging into this story five months ago after Sheriff Babeu announced his plans to run for U.S. Congress. We traveled to Massachusetts to speak with former students and gather documents which confirm their stories. This is the first time these documents have ever been released to the public. The Desisto School was a private boarding school for troubled teens with a long and troubled history of its own.
Consequences Sheeted: All clothes except underwear has to be taken off. Sometimes a toga was given instead. Survivors tell how the undressing often took place by fellow detainees with higher level ripping the clothes off forcefully Sitting meetings: Dorm meetings (group therapy) that lasted 8-10 hours. Leashed(also called hand-held): Have to stay in arms distance of the dorm member who “has you”. Breaking this would increase severity of punishment to “double hand held”. Leashing would often include bathroom activities such as urinating, defecating, or showering. 24 Hour Leashed/also called shifting: Watched while sleeping. Doors and windows may be blocked by person(s) watching to prevent running away. Group Leashed: Entire Dorm is “leashed” together…arms distance, and 3 meetings per day. Farm: The “farm” was a place but it was also used as a verb. There was a girls and boys farm (separate) that someone could be sent to. Sent to the Farm where you have 6 meetings per day and are not allowed contact (not even eye contact) with the rest of the school. Manual labor and meetings all day with other persons on the farm and staff member there. Possessions are taken away. Work suits provided. An entire dorm can also “be farmed”. They would also be as separated and ignored from the rest of the population as possible. Manual labor and meetings all day. Cornering: Can given given as standing or sitting. A way to obtain a person’s turn-in’s. No time minimum or maximum.