Also written by Alonzo, the story of Babeu's time at DeSisto, from 1999 to 2001, offers a disturbing parallel to more recent events in Babeu's life and to conditions at the jail he oversees.

As Babeu possibly crossed ethical and legal boundaries in his affair and alleged harassment of 34-year-old Orozco, he also allegedly violated the trust placed in him as a steward of young men and women by engaging in a relationship with Geyer, who also has denied the relationship, albeit in undated letters that allow for much reading between the lines.

At 17, Geyer would've been at the age of consent in Massachusetts. But at least one source identified Babeu as Geyer's "commitment holder," a mentor to the boy responsible for monitoring his school progress. Even if Geyer and Babeu, whom the ex-student calls a "friend" in one of the letters, never had a sexual relationship, the liaison — said by two former students to be "close" and by one to have constituted "dating" — was unethical.

Paul Babeu, the gay Green Lantern, protector of fellow LGBTs? Not.
Paul Babeu, the gay Green Lantern, protector of fellow LGBTs? Not.

Cult-like DeSisto eventually was shuttered by Massachusetts in 2004 following an investigation into its bizarre and cruel methods of discipline, which included group showers and stripping teens and dressing them in bedsheets.

In legal paperwork, the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services described DeSisto's practices as "excessively punitive" and reported "allegations of abusive practices."

Sound familiar to a certain holding facility for immigrants in Pinal County?

Interestingly, in response to my March 1 commentary ("Grave Digger"), I received a few e-mails from gay men who took issue with my unsympathetic characterization of Babeu's current troubles, which include an ongoing investigation by the Arizona Attorney General's Office and a $1 million lawsuit threat from Orozco's counsel.

"When you publicly humiliate Paul Babeu, you humiliate every gay man," one reader wrote.

Not at all. Were Babeu not a public figure, a law enforcement officer, and a candidate for U.S. Congress, his alleged wrongdoing wouldn't be the subject of media scrutiny.

Gays who feel they must remain closeted deserve compassion. Moreover, members of the LGBT community should enjoy the same rights we all have; they should be allowed to live free from fear of discrimination, stigma, or violence.

But liars and hypocrites, such as Babeu, don't get a pass just because they happen to be homosexuals.

Indeed, Babeu is worthy of a special kind of disgrace for neglecting the rights of LGBTers and others under his authority, then trying to morph himself into a hero of the oppressed only when it's in his self-interest to do so.

Compassion for Sheriff Paul Babeu? Sorry, I'll save mine for those who've suffered and continue to suffer in the Pinal County Jail.

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