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]