Suspended Leechburg police chief Mike Diebold pleads guilty to soliciting sex from minor |
Valley News Dispatch

Suspended Leechburg police chief Mike Diebold pleads guilty to soliciting sex from minor

Rich Cholodofsky
Suspended Leechburg Police Chief Mike Diebold

Leechburg’s suspended police chief pleaded guilty Tuesday before a Westmoreland County judge to soliciting sex from an undercover agent posing as a teenager.

Michael Diebold pleaded guilty to felony charges of statutory sexual assault, attempted statutory sexual assault, unlawful restraint and criminal use of a communications device. Common Pleas Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio sentenced him to serve nine to 23 months in jail, with three years of probation. Given time served already, Diebold will be eligible for probation in Jan. 28, said defense attorney Duke George.

Bilik-DeFazio also barred Diebold from using social media and the internet, unless for work. She also said he can have no unsupervised contact with minors.

Diebold, 41, solicited a 14-year-old girl for sex via the internet. The “girl” was an agent for the state Attorney General Office’s predator task force. He was arrested Jan. 5.

Diebold earned more than $50,000 a year as police chief but was immediately suspended without pay and benefits following his arrest.

Leechburg officials previously said they had offered Diebold two chances to resign . He rejected the first offer and had not responded to a second one as of last month.

Diebold lost part of his left arm in a fireworks accident in June 2017.

He is in a legal dispute with his estranged wife, Danielle Reinke, over a GoFundMe account established after his fireworks mishap. Diebold said in court papers that Reinke controls the the money, believed to be about $50,000.

Diebold filed a claim in Armstrong County seeking alimony and spousal support payments from Reinke. He said he Diebold is awaiting trial on charges that he solicited online sex from an undercover agent posing as a juvenile. He said doesn’t have sufficient income and assets for his needs, living expenses and legal fees.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.