You knew there had to be more to this story. Is there no screening process for teachers??? Why are pedophiles allowed to teach in public schools?

Minnesota teacher, spouse who died in murder-suicide had been accused in sex case

MINNESOTATEACHERBRF
By Nick Ferraro, St. Paul Pioneer Press on Aug 30, 2016 at 9:56 p.m.

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. — A South St. Paul elementary school teacher and his husband, who were found dead of an apparent murder-suicide last week in Washington state, were under investigation for having sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy and inappropriate conduct with at least two other underage boys, according to court documents.

Teacher Aric Babbitt and Matthew Deyo were found dead Thursday on Lopez Island, in the San Juan Islands in the northwest corner of the state about 100 miles north of Seattle. They died of gunshots wounds. Babbitt was a 1998 graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.

Babbitt, a teacher at Lincoln Center Elementary since 2002, was put on paid leave by South St. Paul schools after the district learned of the allegations Aug. 17, Superintendent Dave Webb said.

According to Dakota County court documents released Tuesday, a 16-year-old boy and his parents went to police Aug. 14 to report “an ongoing sexual relationship” with Babbitt and Deyo.

Further investigation revealed other underage boys had experienced similar sexual activity with the pair.

The 16-year-old told police that Babbitt was his former elementary school teacher, volunteer work supervisor and mentor.

The boy reported that Babbitt had agreed to be a mentor for him when he came out as gay to his family and that the teacher gave him gifts of underwear and small yoga shorts and also asked for photos before he was 16.

The boy told police that this past April, shortly after he turned 16, Babbitt and Deyo asked to take him to a concert in Minneapolis and that they said they would “treat him to a hotel stay,” according to an application for a search warrant.

Once there, Babbitt and Deyo provided the teen with alcohol and marijuana and he became very intoxicated, the documents said. They did not go to the concert. Instead, all three had unprotected sex, the court records stated.

The boy woke the next day in the hotel room with Deyo touching him, court documents read.

After the initial sexual contact, Deyo and Babbitt asked the boy and his friend to follow them on the social networking site Tumblr, where there were nude photos of Babbitt and masturbation videos. They also gave him a password for their porn subscription.

Babbitt and Deyo also created a Dropbox account for the boys to log into. They instructed them to post nude and semi-nude photos in the account.

The court documents said Babbitt and Deyo would expose other teens to porn and encourage them to communicate with the men on social media without their parents’ knowledge.

In a search of Babbitt and Deyo’s South St. Paul home Aug. 16, officers found numerous computers and media devices, as well as a camera hidden in a bathroom clock.

Two additional victims described “strange situations in the bathroom,” documents read. One boy reported that when he was 16, Babbitt and Deyo said that they had a surprise for him in the bathroom. Once in there, he saw a computer tablet with porn playing on it.

They said that he could have the tablet and could do whatever he needed to in the bathroom.

One boy said that when he went to take a shower while staying at the residence, Babbitt encouraged him to masturbate in the bathroom, the court documents stated.

On the day of the Aug. 16 search of the couple’s South Fifth Avenue home, investigators attempted to speak with Deyo and Babbitt and explain the nature of the investigation; neither agreed to provide a statement.

On Aug. 22, investigators learned that Babbitt and Deyo had not been heard from by family or friends since Aug. 16, the court records said.

Deyo’s brother, identified as “JD,” told authorities Babbitt and Deyo came to his home at about 2 p.m. Aug. 16 and said they were going camping. They asked JD if they could borrow his gun in case they needed protection from bears.

“JD said their story didn’t make much sense as they first said they were going camping near Alexandria but then changed their supposed destination to Grand Marais,” the court document read. JD said he eventually lent them a shotgun and multiple rounds of ammunition.

San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs said in a prepared statement Thursday that a kayaker discovered a man’s body on one of the island’s beaches. Responding officers also found the body of a second man.

It was ruled a murder-suicide, the sheriff’s statement read.

A suicide note was found stating both men had visited Lopez Island years ago with their dog and loved the island.

Witnesses reported hearing two gun shots at about 8:30 the night before.

South St. Paul police Cmdr. Phil Oeffling said Tuesday that a warrant for the couple’s arrest had not been issued. The investigation is ongoing, he said.

Babbitt was hired by the school district on Aug. 28, 2002, and had taught grades 1, 2, 5 and 6. He was supposed to teach fourth grade this school year, which starts Sept. 6.

Babbitt had no disciplinary record with the school district, Webb said.

Babbitt’s father, Dana, was superintendent of the South St. Paul school district from 2003 to 2007. He was previously principal at South St. Paul High School and assistant superintendent in the South Washington County school district.

On Tuesday afternoon, two trucks were parked in front of Babbitt and Deyo’s Cape Cod-style house, which the couple bought together in 2003.

A next-door neighbor said Babbitt’s family had been coming and going all day. No one answered the door.

Judy Grau, who also lives next door, said Babbitt and Deyo called her “Ms. Judy” and regularly brought over food and sang and played music for her.

“They sang together, but Aric had the best voice,” Grau, 77, said. “Matt played the piano, and they played guitar and the sax.”

Grau said Deyo, who grew up in the Hastings area, wasn’t employed but was going to school to be a chiropractor. She described him as “pretty low-key.”

She said she never saw the couple act strangely. “I never got an indication of anything,” she said.

Grau said she had heard allegations after the couple went missing … but considered them “just rumors.”

She last saw them the day of the house search. They drove by several times but didn’t stop.

“(Police cars) were lined up along the street for five hours,” she said.

Around 5 or 5:30 p.m., after authorities left, the couple drove in the back alley to their garage and loaded sleeping bags and a shovel into the trunk of their car.

“I haven’t seen them since,” she said. “I don’t know why they grabbed a shovel.”

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