Cops: Chief Solicited Sex From Officer Posing as Girl, 14

Pennsylvania chief faces felony charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2018 3:04 AM CST
Pennsylvania Police Chief Charged With Sex Crimes
In this Sept. 6, 2017, photo, Leechburg Police Chief Michael Diebold, left, tries out his new prosthetic arm.   (Andrew Russell/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP)

Leechburg Police Chief Michael Diebold had part of his arm blown off in a fireworks accident in 2017—but his 2018 is likely to be a lot worse. The Pennsylvania chief was arrested Friday in an undercover sex sting when he went to meet what he apparently thought was a 14-year-old girl he'd been communicating with online, using the handle KuteCop4You, CNN reports. The 40-year-old, who allegedly sent pictures of his erect penis to the undercover officer posing as the girl while trying to arrange a sexual encounter, faces felony charges including "criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse," reports the Washington Post. In an affidavit, the undercover officer says the chief admitted "he knew that sexual contact with a 14-year-old child was wrong and illegal and that his life was totally over."

Diebold—who lost his left hand and part of his left forearm in an accident while lighting fireworks for the Leechburg Volunteer Fire Company's annual carnival last June—had a prosthetic arm fitted a few months ago and had planned to return to his duties in early December, but he was placed on leave amid disagreements over his fitness, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The chief, who got married just 18 days after the accident and has a baby son, is being held on $500,000 bond. "This case is particularly heinous because the perpetrator is a public official, sworn to serve and protect the community," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement, citing his office's "zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of children." (More police chiefs stories.)

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