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A former police officer from Bethel Park who brought a woman from South America to the U.S illegally is given probation

Blake Babin led a stellar career as a Bethel Park police officer, rising to lieutenant over more than three decades.

Blake Babin had a successful career as a Bethel Park police officer, eventually becoming a lieutenant after more than 30 years.

His friends and former colleagues mentioned that he served as a mentor, organized community programs, took part in an annual food drive, and showed compassion to those he served.

However, Babin, aged 60, also went to Colombia and socialized with prostitutes at nightclubs, according to federal investigators.

He formed a romantic relationship with a Venezuelan woman, who investigators believe was under 18, and helped her enter the U.S illegally two years ago.

Text messages between them revealed that Babin brought her to his home in Bethel Park because he loved her and didn't want to live alone. The prosecution described his feelings towards her and his involvement in bringing her over.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Colville sentenced Babin, who had previously pleaded guilty, to three years of probation, 50 hours of community service, and a $2,000 fine. Babin, who retired after being charged, was indicted by a federal grand jury in May after allegedly giving money to the woman in the last part of 2022. He pleaded guilty to transporting an illegal alien and was given three years of probation, 50 hours of community service, and a $2,000 fine by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Colville.

The sentencing guidelines suggested penalties ranging from probation to a maximum of 6 months in jail.

Babin, who retired following the charges, was indicted by a federal grand jury in May after being accused of giving money to the woman in late 2022.

The funds were intended to cover her unlawful entry into the U.S. from Mexico, according to the government.

Prosecutors stated that the woman attempted to enter the U.S. twice unsuccessfully but eventually succeeded near El Paso, Texas on her third attempt. Babin was reportedly waiting to take her to Phoenix and then Pittsburgh.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Bloch mentioned that it's uncommon for a police officer to appear as a defendant in court, adding that Babin had more than one Venezuelan woman living with him.

“We do hold police officers, as we should, to a higher standard, and Mr. Babin should be held to a higher standard,” she said. “This was not a one-time event.”

According to sentencing documents, a different 23-year-old Venezuelan woman, along with her mother and child, are currently living with Babin.

Bloch pointed out that they entered the country legally while the woman was pregnant, and that Babin initially applied for the 23-year-old’s entry to the U.S., claiming she was his fiancée.

Defense attorney Charles Porter stated that his client was a law-abiding man who devoted his life to serving others.

Porter mentioned, “This is a man who made a mistake and acknowledged it,” adding that the mistake had significant consequences for him, including the loss of his career and status, as he is now a felon.

Babin briefly addressed the court, stating, “I take full responsibility for the actions that brought me here today. Actions have consequences.”

Several of Babin’s friends and colleagues wrote letters in support of him to the court.

Susan Dolinar, who has been friends with Babin for over 33 years, wrote in her letter to the court that he was selfless, caring, and dedicated.

Dolinar mentioned situations where Babin, multiple times, entered burning houses to rescue the people inside.

Once, he discovered a woman sleeping in her car on Christmas Eve. He covered her stay at a nearby hotel and provided money for food, Dolinar explained.

Babin was held in high regard in the Bethel Park Police Department, she wrote.

“I have witnessed it personally as Blake has always prioritized principles over career advancements, earning a reputation for integrity and honesty,” she said.

Several people also mentioned Babin's efforts to raise funds to assist a young boy in Colombia with severe crossed eyes in getting surgery. Babin met the boy and his family during his travels to Colombia, they mentioned.

“Blake not only coordinated the medical treatment, but he also contributed financially,” stated James “Tim” Kirsch, a retired Bethel Park police officer.

“When I inquired about his extensive involvement with this family and their village, he explained that he had no one else in his life and intended to give them everything he had to offer, hoping to give them a better future,” said Crescent police Chief Frank Marks, who previously worked with Babin in Bethel Park.

After the hearing, Porter described what happened to Babin as unfortunate.

“He ended a very good and productive law enforcement career in his effort to help someone, and unfortunately, it wasn’t consistent with the law.”

Blake Babin had an outstanding career as a Bethel Park police officer, advancing to lieutenant over more than three decades.

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