ST. PAUL, Minn. — Documents released this week from the St. Paul Police Department outline that two homosexual men who committed suicide in August had molested 10 adolescent boys during a period of three years.
Police have now closed their investigation into Minnesota school teacher Aric Babbitt and his “husband,” Matthew Deyo, who ended their lives after a 16-year-old boy and his mother reported to officials that “an ongoing sexual relationship” had been taking place.
While charges had not yet been filed, the two left a letter for their parents advising that they were going to commit suicide, which was received after the fact. Their bodies were found on Lopez Island in Washington state on Aug. 25.
Police documents outline that the men wrote that that preferred to choose their “own destinies rather than experience the hatred and inevitable loss of freedom that the justice system would give.” The situation was ruled a murder-suicide.
Babbit, then 40, worked as a fourth grade school teacher at Lincoln Center Elementary School. The 16-year-old had volunteered at the school, and Babbit served as his mentor when he came out to his family as homosexual. The teen told police that Babbit and Deyo had said they would take him to a concert and pay for his hotel stay. But while at the hotel, he alleged, the men gave him alcohol and marijuana, and then sexually abused him.
The situation occurred again at a cabin, and this time, involved both the teen and his friend. According to KSTP-TV, police were able to obtain photos from the cabin stay that identified the youths, as well as the accused.
On August 16, a search warrant was issued in relation to the matter, which included suspicion of possessing child pornography. Police confiscated Babbit and Deyo’s computers, phones, cameras and other devices. They also found marijuana in the men’s home, as well as a hidden camera in the restroom, according to their report.
Pioneer Press also outlines that footage had been found of Babbit filming himself touching his private parts in the elementary school restroom and in an empty classroom. The Star Tribune states that some of the encounters with the boys was likewise filmed.
Babbit was suspended with pay, and other youth began coming forward.
But nine days later, Babbit and Deyo traveled out of state and committed suicide. The police report states that the letter mailed to their parents outlined that they were concerned that information regarding search of their home would become public and some would consequently “paint them as monsters, but we are not.” They contended that anyone who was involved was a “willing participant.”
“They do not believe that they did any harm, nor did they intend any hurt,” police documents note.
More youth came forward following the men’s deaths, and now the final report—134 pages in all—outlines that there were 10 boys who came forward to state that they had been sexually abused.
“As a school district, we strive to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our students,” South St. Paul schools Superintendent Dave Webb said in a statement to reporters this week. “This has been very hard on our entire South St. Paul community.”
St. Paul Police Chief William Messerich says that the investigation is now closed.