Suspended police chief accused of soliciting sex pleads guilty, learns sentence

Suspended police chief accused of soliciting sex pleads guilty, learns sentence

LEECHBURG, Pa. — Suspended Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold, who is accused of trying to solicit sex from someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, has been sentenced Tuesday to nine to 23 months in jail.

“I have a duty to protect my son from this man who I do not feel he learned a lesson. I feel he will be back the only remorse he’s shown is that he was caught," said Danielle Reinke, estranged wife of Diebold.

Diebold pleaded guilty Tuesday to four charges stemming from his arrest in January during an undercover sting.

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“He did this and that’s what I needed to hear so now, it makes closure a lot better there’s no question now," Reinke said.

Diebold's mother was there to support him.

“I want him home. I love my son very, very much and anybody that tells me that they would stand behind their child is a bad parent. He’s everything to me. He’s all I have," Karen Diebold said.

Investigators said Diebold was communicating with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, soliciting her for sex and trying to meet her at a gas station. However, it was actually an undercover agent posing as the girl.

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In addition to the jail sentence, Diebold has to serve 25 years as a Meghan’s law sex offender. The judge also ordered he can’t have internet access, including social media, and can’t have any contact with minors, with the possible exception of his son -- a determination that will be made by the Armstrong County courts.

With credit for time served, Diebold’s attorney believes he could be released from jail by Jan. 28. Upon his release, Diebold will have to serve three years’ probation.

It's closure for Diebold's family, but Reinke said she wishes she could see him spend more time behind bars.

“I would’ve liked to have seen 10 years, life, but I know that wasn’t going to happen," Reinke said.