By John Amato
This is pretty sick as far as Republican scandals go.
A wide-ranging investigation has been launched into allegations that a well-known Pueblo resident has molested many boys over the years, including most recently when he was the manager for Sen. John McCain's presidential-campaign office in Pueblo.
Under investigation is Jeffrey Claude Bartleson, 52, who was arrested Jan. 29 and then re-arrested Wednesday after a campaign worker in the McCain office told police she believed Bartleson molested one of her sons.
According to the woman, she and a co-worker were planning in October to attend a Sarah Palin rally in Colorado Springs but wanted to travel to the Springs the night before. She told police that she mentioned the planned trip to Bartleson. He offered to keep her 5-year-old son overnight in Pueblo and then drive up to Colorado Springs the next day and meet them there.
She accepted Bartleson's offer. The woman said that her son told her that while at Bartleson's home, Bartleson insisted on giving him a bath, during which he was sexually molested. Later, said the child, Bartleson forced him into Bartleson's bed, where he once again was molested.
In interviews this week with investigators, the child said that when he tried to get away from Bartleson, he kept pulling him back into the bed. He was finally able to leave when Bartleson fell asleep.
And it happened to a family going to a Palin event.