Leechburg, PA – A western Pennsylvania police chief who gained national attention when he lost an arm in a fireworks accident was arrested on Friday, Jan. 5, after showing up to meet with an agent posing as a 14-year-old girl for sex.
Leechburg Police Chief Michael W. Diebold, 40, of Forks Church Road, was arrested by state agents Friday afternoon at the Sheetz in Lower Burrell where the police chief thought he was meeting with the fictional 14-year-old girl for sex, according to WPXI.
He was taken to the Lower Burrell Police Department for questioning.
During the interview, Chief Diebold allegedly told investigators he knew sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old child was wrong and illegal and that his life was totally over.
He admitted to soliciting sex from an undercover agent posing online as a 14-year-old girl, according to the criminal complaint.
In a statement, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Chief Diebold is charged with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. “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,” he said.
Chief Diebold allegedly began interacting with the undercover agent on Sept. 15 via the app KIK, where Chief Diebold used the name Kutecop4you. According to the complaint, Chief Diebold posted an online ad as a “dominate male officer seeks fun, discreet, sub playmate.”
Investigators say the police chief was told multiple times by the undercover agent that the girl was underage but he continued to engage.
The complaint says he sent inappropriate pictures and continued to ask for sex, according to WPXI. He then made plans to meet the undercover agent.
“This case is particularly heinous because the perpetrator is a public official, sworn to serve and protect the community,” Shapiro said. “Understand that this man, this police chief was going there, to that location, with some hope of having a sexual relationship with a minor,” he said, according to KDKA.
Chief Diebold lost his lower left arm in a fireworks accident June 24, 2017, and has been on paid leave since the injury. He gained an army of supporters throughout his rehabilitation for his determination to return to duty despite the injury. The community rallied around him and raised thousands of dollars for his medical expenses.
In December,2017, Chief Diebold and the Leechburg Council came to an agreement about his return to duty. The agreement said If he could complete a fitness for duty medical exam, he would return to full active duty.
Leechburg residents were in disbelief, according to WPXI. One resident, a young woman, said, “It’s absolutely disgusting. He’s supposed to lead by example and obviously this isn’t the example we want… especially in this town.”
Chief Diebold has been a police officer for 21 years, and Leechburg’s police chief since 2007, according to WPXI. He married his fiancee, Danielle Reinke, on July 11, 2017, less than three weeks after the accident, which occurred hours after his infant son’s christening.
Chief Diebold is being held at Westmoreland County Prison under $500,000 bond.