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ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) – The Aliquippa assistant police chief was arrested Friday morning.
According to a statement from the Beaver County district attorney, Joseph Perciavalle was arrested for the distribution of sexually explicit material to a minor.
Perciavalle, who has been acting police chief for less than two days, has been arraigned and released on $5,000 unsecured bond.
He is charged with disseminating sexual material to a minor, corruption of minors and contacting minors with obscene material.
According to the criminal complaint, he sent a text to a group of people, including a 17-year-old girl. The video showed a half-naked woman urinating on a swing.
That minor is believed to be Lauren Watkins, who was with Rachael DelTondo the night she was murdered. She is also the daughter of Aliquippa Police Lt. Kenneth Watkins, who is on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The text was sent three days before the murder and was apparently seen by Watkins’ mother who replied, “My daughter is too young to see this.”
Perciavalle replied: “She is 21.”
Watkins responded again saying her daughter was 17.
The text messages were discovered by county detectives when they confiscated Lauren Watkins’ phone as part of the DelTondo investigation.
Investigators are trying to reconstruct DelTondo’s final hours and have confiscated the phones of several others as well.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan Reports:
On Wednesday, Aliquippa Police Chief Don Couch was placed on administrative leave by the Aliquippa City Council.
“[Wednesday] evening, for personnel issues, they decided they were going to place the police chief on administrative leave. There was speculation and some innuendo that this is in some way related to the [Rachael DelTondo] murder. That is completely false, that has nothing to do with it,” Sainovich said.
There have been calls for an outside agency to take over the DelTondo investigation, or to remove the department from the investigation.
But to date, District Attorney David Lozier says he has confidence in the Aliquippa Police Department.
The DA wasn’t available for comment Friday, but earlier in the week, the city solicitor said the investigation involves many agencies and that Lozier is in charge.