“I have never hurt so bad in all my life,” Danielle Reinke Diebold said. “Our lives have been completely shattered”
The wife of a Pennsylvania police chief charged with soliciting sex from someone he allegedly thought was a 14-year-old girl is reeling from the claims, saying they have shocked and “completely shattered” their family.
In an emotional statement, Danielle Reinke Diebold said she was “blindsided” and deeply hurt after spouse Michael Diebold, the chief of the Leechburg Police Department, was arrested Friday for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover agent posing online as a 14-year-old girl.
“I have never hurt so bad in all my life,” Danielle said in a statement to local media outlets, which was sent through her sister on Sunday night. “Our lives have been completely shattered.”
Prosecutors claim Michael, 40, sent inappropriate photos to an undercover agent, who claimed several times to be a 14-year-old girl. When Michael allegedly set up plans to meet the girl last week, law enforcement officers greeted him and took him into custody instead.
“This case is particularly heinous because the perpetrator is a public official, sworn to serve and protect the community,” Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Josh Shapiro, said in a news release.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Danielle said she never had to question her husband’s integrity. She said his family knew him to be a “loving, caring father and husband.”
“We are grieving the loss of that man,” she said. “I feel like they are two different people — but they are not.”
“I don’t know how to pick up all these broken pieces and find a way to put them back together and go on with my life, but I have to try to find a way for my children,” Danielle added. “I am broken, devastated, humiliated, and I was completely blindsided.”
Michael faces felony charges of unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, prosecutors said. He was still unable to post his $500,000 bail as of Monday, according to his attorney, Duke George.
• For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.
His preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 16, during which time he will plead not guilty and request a jury trial, George said.
“He’s entitled to due process like any other citizen,” George said.
In regards to Danielle’s statement, George said: “It’s heart-wrenching to say the least, because it affects the family.”
“I just wish her the best and the children the best,” he added.