In May 2000, Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services launched a lawsuit and investigation against DeSisto directly in the middle of Babeu’s tenure. The state’s ongoing lawsuit -- to force DeSisto to become licensed and stop dangerous and inhumane practices -- eventually drove the school to shut down in 2004, records show.
In fall of 2001, weeks after Babeu left the school, a judge ordered that the state needed to stop many of its dangerous tactics, court records show.
Through multiple public record requests -- made in 2012 and 2016 – ABC15 obtained hundreds of pages of the same 1,700 files Babeu released.
In those records, there are several affidavits that document what Friedman told state child care investigators. The documented accounts she gave in 2001 and 2002 match what Friedman told ABC15 during her interview.
One of the affidavits, signed by a state investigator under the penalty of perjury, includes the following statement about Hilary Friedman:
“During my December 27 visit I interviewed a student named Hilary (last name redacted). She has been hospitalized due to her eating disorder and returned to the school from the hospital on December 22. When she returned she was immediately farmed. Hilary reported that DeSisto farmed her because of her eating disorder, not because of a particular incident.”
Babeu now admits he was only aware of the general philosophy of the school. But he said he never would have allowed students to be mistreated.
"I KNEW MY LIFE WAS OVER... I KNEW I WAS IN HELL"
“As a cop, as a person, I would have never allowed abuse,” Babeu said.
When Friedman heard about Babeu’s statement, she shook her head in disgust.
“That makes me sick. It makes me sick to hear that,” Friedman said. “For him to do anything but completely own that makes me sick.”
Friedman said she decided to speak out against Babeu so no one forgets what happened at DeSisto and to raise awareness about institutional abuse still occurring at other facilities across the country.
“I don’t think this should leave anyone’s mind,” she said. “I don’t think it should leave Arizona voters’ minds or anyone in America minds because this is happening to kids every day.