LEECHBURG (KDKA) — The police chief of Leechburg is being charged with felony counts of underage solicitation.
The state Attorney General’s Office is charging Chief Michael Diebold with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
“This is extremely startling,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “To arrest the chief of police of Leechburg for unlawful contact with a minor and criminal intent to commit involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, both of which are felonies, it’s incredibly troubling.”
According to the AG’s Office, Diebold had been communicating online under the name “KuteCop4You” with an undercover agent who was posing as a 14-year-old girl.
The criminal complaint says Diebold, 40, placed an ad on a social media app back in September titled “Dominate male police officer seeks fun, discreet, sub playmate.” That’s when investigators zeroed in on him. He’s accused of sending the agent inappropriate photos and asked to meet with the girl during their communications.
When he arrived at that meeting place, the Sheetz in Lower Burrell, on Friday afternoon, agents with the AG’s Child Predator Unit moved in and took him into custody.
“Understand that this man, this police chief was going there, to that location, with some hope of having a sexual relationship with a minor,” said Shapiro.
According to the criminal complaint, police say during questioning Diebold admitted to being the person who was communicating with the purported child. They also say he “admitted that he knew that sexual contact with a 14-year-old child was wrong and illegal and that his life was totally over.”
Agents with the Attorney General’s Office also raided Diebold’s property on Friday, and collected possible evidence.
In a press release, Shapiro said: “This case is particularly heinous because the perpetrator is a public official, sworn to serve and protect the community. We have a zero tolerance policy for the sexual abuse of children and my office will prosecute any offender to the fullest extent of the law, no matter who they are.”
Last summer, Diebold lost part of his arm in a fireworks accident. He was in the hospital for several weeks before being released in July.
The community rallied around him and raised thousands of dollars for his medical expenses.
He and the borough had just reached an agreement last month for his return to duty.
Diebold was arraigned Friday night on both felony charges.