Leechburg, Penn. Police Chief Michael Diebold, 40, faces felony charges for allegedly soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl. Photo by Westmoreland County Prison
Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A western Pennsylvania police chief is facing felony charges after he attempted to solicit sex from a 14-year-old girl who was really an undercover cop, state prosecutors said Friday.
Prosecutors accuse Michael W. Diebold, the Chief of Police in Leechburg, Penn., of using the Kik messenger app to contact minors online for sex. According to an affidavit, Diebold, 40, contacted who he thought was a 14-year-old girl and sent her lewd pictures of himself. He then arranged to meet the girl and was arrested when he showed up to the meeting place.
Diebold's username on Kik was "Kutecop4you" and he described himself as a "dominate male police officer" who was seeking a "discreet, sub playmate m4w."
"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. "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."
According to the investigators, Diebold said he "knew that sexual contact with a 14-year[-old] child was wrong and illegal and that his life was totally over."
Diebold remains in Westmoreland County Prison and is currently on paid leave. He was given a $500,000 bond.
In June, Diebold made headlines in his hometown after he was injured in a fireworks accident that took his left hand and severely injured his arm.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that supporters raised $17,000 for Diebold and his family at the time through a GoFundMe account and hundreds of people attended other fundraisers, including one where t-shirts were sold that said, "We Stand By Ours. #teamdiebold15656."
"I feel absolutely terrible for his wife and children -- they should not have to endure the effects of his terrible decision," Leechburg resident A.J. Stewart said Saturday. "I feel terrible for the folks who supported him and donated their hard-earned money and personal time to his cause of his amputation."