State agents on Friday arrested a Western Pennsylvania police chief who gained national attention when he lost an arm in a fireworks accident only to return to duty with a prosthetic.
Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold is charged with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced.
Diebold, 40, allegedly admitted to soliciting sex from an undercover agent posing online as a 14-year-old girl, according to a criminal complaint. While talking to investigators, he allegedly told them he knew sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old child was wrong and illegal and that his life was "totally over."
“This case is particularly heinous because the perpetrator is a public official, sworn to serve and protect the community,” Shapiro said.
Diebold lost his lower left arm in a fireworks accident last summer. He gained an army of supporters throughout his rehabilitation for his determination to return to duty despite the injury.
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Agents arrested Diebold on 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. He was taken to the Lower Burrell Police Department for questioning.
He allegedly began interacting with the undercover agent on Sept. 15 via the app KIK, where Diebold used the name "Kutecop4you." According to the complaint, Diebold posted an ad online as a "dominate male officer seeks fun, discreet, sub playmate."
Investigators say Diebold was told multiple times the girl was underage but he continued to engage. The complaint says he sent inappropriate pictures and continued to ask for sex.
Leechburg residents were in disbelief when we broke the news to them.
"It's absolutely disgusting," said one young woman.
"He's supposed to lead by example and obviously this isn't the example we want... especially in this town."
Diebold's bail has been set at $500,000, and he is spending Friday night in the Westmoreland County Prison.
He will go before a judge on Jan. 16.
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