A small town in Pennsylvania became the center of media attention this week when state prosecutors accused the chief of police with trying to solicit sex from a minor.
The minor, however, was actually a male undercover agent posing online as a 14-year-old girl. The two made contact when the special agent responded to an online ad the officer had posted.
“Dominate [sic] male police officer seeks fun, discreet, sub playmate — m4w,” the ad stated.
The responses from the agent included telling police chief Michael Diebold that “she” was underage. This apparently did nothing to deter him, as is evident in his responses:
“… everyone has to have a first time”
“… you will just have to get me naked tomorrow.”
According to the state’s attorney general’s office, Diebold used an online messaging service to send the girl (agent) nude photos. He also solicited sexual contact from her and made plans to meet the officer posing as the girl.
His intent was pretty clear. He wanted to violate the same laws he’s supposed to enforce. Diebold went to meet with the girl but was surprised to meet the agents from the state’s child predator agency, who quickly arrested him.
Daniel Block, the agent posing as the 14-year-old girl, repeatedly mentioned his fictional age, but, Diebold continued to attempting to develop a relationship with the minor.
“This case is particularly heinous because the perpetrator is a public official, sworn to serve and protect the community. 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,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Diebold is being held in Westmoreland County Prison on a bail of $500,000 and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 16. According to his lawyer, Diebold intends to plead not guilty to both charges. The New York Times quoted court records showing that Diebold informed investigators that he knew what he was doing was wrong, and said his life was “totally over.”
Last Friday, the sheriff’s office confirmed that Diebold had been charged with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, both felonies.
“*uck the Police!” has been part of youth culture since the late 1980’s. Since that time, there has always been an undercurrent of anti-police sentiment. If Conservatives and Republicans want to counter this vehement opposition to police, then they have to look at the reality of the situation.