The wife of a disgraced Pennsylvania police chief has broken her silence after her husband was arrested on Friday for trying to solicit sex from an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl, KDKA reports.
Leechburg Police Chief Michael Diebold made headlines earlier this year when he lost part of his left arm in a near-fatal fireworks accident. But after his story garnered him support from across the country, the hometown hero swiftly fell from grace.
The 40-year-old police chief was arrested on Friday and charged with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse after it was revealed he had sent an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old girl multiple inappropriate photos and even tried to meet up with her in person.
Danielle Reinke Diebold, the former police chief's wife, sent a statement to KDKA on Sunday describing the impact her husband's alleged crime has had on her family.
Diebold and his wife married in a televised ceremony in July 2017, less than a month after his life-changing accident, according to CNN. The pair had welcomed their infant son not long beforehand.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro slammed Diebold's actions as "particularly heinous" because he is a public official who is "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," he added.
After he was arrested, Diebold allegedly told investigators that he was aware that sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old child was illegal and that his life was "totally over."