Former police chief in PA to serve 9-23 months in prison after guilty plea
related to undercover child sex sting
HARRISBURG, PA – A former police chief in Armstrong County will serve between nine and 23 months in prison and three years probation for soliciting sexual acts from an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old girl online in January, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday.
Michael Diebold, 41, pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility, court documents show.
Diebold, who served as Leechburg’s police chief, sent inappropriate pictures to the individual he thought to be a teenage girl on multiple occasions.
He then made plans to meet up with the girl, and upon arrival at the designated location in Westmoreland County, Diebold was apprehended.
“This case is particularly heinous because the perpetrator is a public official, sworn to serve and protect the community,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “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.”
Mercy High School sends out letter to parents amid former coach’s Child Abuse charges
BALTIMORE, MD – Mercy High School officials sent out a letter to parents following news of its former athletic coach being charged with child sexual abuse.
The statement says “we continue to be deeply upset as we learn additional information from media reports about our former part-time coach Ernest Jackson. The details of the charges against Mr. Jackson revealed in local news coverage early this evening are very disturbing to our entire community—our students, parents, faculty and staff, board, alumnae and friends.”
Officials say that Ernest Jackson was a part-time coach for indoor track, outdoor track and soccer. He coached at the school on a seasonal basis, beginning in November 2015 until last month. He is no longer a coach and he was reportedly banned from campus when the school learned of a report of abuse before Thanksgiving.
Jackson has reportedly been released on bail. School officials say “Student safety has been and always will be of paramount importance to us. I want you to know that in our hiring process we comply with all federal, state and local employment laws. All candidates for employment are interviewed, and their references are carefully checked. Candidates also undergo a fingerprint criminal background check through the FBI’s Criminal Justice Identification Services (C.J.I.S) Division.
The C.J.I.S. system provides automatic updates to the school if employees are subsequently charged with crimes flagged by the C.J.I.S system. The results of background checks are carefully reviewed. The school regularly provides safe environments training for child and youth protection to employees.
Our first responsibility is to the safety and privacy of our girls. We must balance transparency with student privacy, and I thank you for understanding and respecting this. In addition, because there is an ongoing criminal investigation that involves child sexual abuse, we are limited in what we can share, as we respect the legal process and must not interfere with an ongoing criminal case.”
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Baltimore Police’s Child Abuse Unit at 443-984-7378 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.
Collier County nurse alerts deputies to
Child Abuse, prevents decapitation
NAPLES, FL – A nurse at Palmetto Elementary in Collier County tipped off deputies to an awful child abuse case.
While there are more than 3,000 reports of child abuse cases each year, according to Children’s Advocacy Center, it still shocks residents when these crimes happen against children living in Southwest Florida.
Christina Breen said she can’t begin to imagine what kind of person. “As a mom it hits home the worst,” Breen said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Collier County deputies said Ordene Christie is the kind of person who would harm a child. Christie, 50, is accused of beating three kids under her care with a belt, stick and machete after they attempted to obtain food from the kitchen.
She even threatened to “chop off their hands and head.”
Her arrest report said the children tried to procure the food because they are never full. All three children, who are ages 7, 8 and 9, are underweight. The youngest weighs 41 pounds.
“I can’t even think about that,” Monica Thonday said, a neighbor. “I don’t know, I have no idea — that’s insane.
A nurse at Palmetto Elementary ultimately saved their lives. She noticed the bruising and proceeded to report it to deputies.
“It is comforting knowing people are looking out for children,” Breen said, “and are watching out for these things.”
The district policy states employees are required to report student abuse or neglect if they suspect — just like the nurse did. All staff members are required to train with the Department of Children and Family Services on identifying abuse.
“You don’t know what someone’s mindset is,” Thonday said. “You don’t know what they’re going to do to your kids. You can’t trust everybody.”
If you know of or suspect child abuse, call the Florida Abuse Hotline. It can be reached at 1-800-96 ABUSE (800-962-2873). The agency is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Caller information is kept confidential.
Convicted molester’s girlfriend admits
letting him assault daughter, 10,
resulting in pregnancy
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indiana woman on Tuesday admitted to charges that she allowed her boyfriend to molest her daughter, leading to the then 10-year-old’s pregnancy.
The 33-year-old woman, of Marion, pleaded guilty to charges of neglect, aiding child molesting and assisting a criminal. She avoided a trial by accepting a sentence of 20 years in prison and five years of probation.
“We were certainly ready to go to trial in a few weeks, but the emotional and psychological toll would have been significantly more (for this trial) than the Thrash trial,” Deputy Grant County Prosecutor Lisa Glancy said.
The woman’s boyfriend, 34-year-old Nicholas Deon Thrash, was convicted of 10 counts of child molesting and sentenced last week to 160 years in prison. The victim, who was not named, testified Thrash had molested her at least 15 times.
The mother admitted her daughter told her Thrash was molesting her, yet she continued to live with him, the Chronicle-Tribune of Marion, Ind., reported. She reportedly instructed the daughter to say a classmate impregnated her.
Neither the molestation nor pregnancy was reported to police.
Part of the woman’s plea required that she have no contact with her now 12-year-old daughter until a counselor gives permission. The Associated Press did not name the woman to protect the identity of the girl.
Prosecutors told FOX59 Indianapolis that the girl, after turning 11, gave birth to a boy in September 2017. The baby was given up for adoption, while the girl now resides in foster care.
“She’s doing better. That’s all that we can hope for right now. She’s at a really good place,” Glancy said.
“Three-and-a-half years’ worth of emotions stirred in Kevin Patrick Smith,” CNN reported.
“The 45-year-old said he was sitting in the Medford, Oregon, federal courthouse on Wednesday for the sentencing hearing for Donald Courtney Biggs, 40, when he rushed Biggs and punched him.
“Biggs, a former youth pastor at Mountain Christian Fellowship, had pleaded guilty in February to one count of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with a minor, according to a news release from the US attorney’s office for Oregon.”
According to reports, the sentencing hearing was a long and testy one for the one-time youth pastor at the Medford, Oregon church.
First, victims’ statements were read, going on over two hours. Then it came time for sealed statements in Biggs’ defense.
It was all too much for Smith.
“At that point, I just kind of snapped,” Smith told CNN.
“I charged across the courtroom. He was sitting behind a desk. I leaped over the desk and got a punch in on his face.”
An enraged parent getting a shot at a man who victimized a child can be a frightful sight. Biggs was knocked to the ground, where he lay in the fetal position, according to the The Daily Wire. He was later taken to a hospital.
“Full force, just like Superman, it looked like he flew through the air right into him and just punched him,” Jacob Elkin, a witness, told CNN.
Smith was charged with obstructing governmental or judicial administration, fourth-degree assault and second-degree disorderly conduct. However, this being 2018, there’s already been a GoFundMe page set up for his assistance.
“Kevin smith is what I would like to call a heroic figure, a true man of justice, an outstanding man,” the page read.
“As of Sunday night, the page had raised $12,915, most of it coming in individual contributions of $125 or less,” CNN reported. That number was up to almost $15,000 by early Tuesday afternoon.
One of the issues in the case was that even prosecutors thought justice wasn’t served. This included Elkin, who set up the GoFundMe page and is also a relative of a victim. He also used an image of Superman in the campaign, something with which I might begin to think DC Comics might not be terribly thrilled with.
Even though the investigation revealed multiple instances of inappropriate contact and recording devices used, Biggs was only charged with one count.
That still brought a pretty stiff sentence.
Biggs “was sentenced today to 188 months in federal prison for surreptitiously recording minor church members in various stages of undress while employed as a youth pastor at Mountain Christian Fellowship in Medford,” a statement from the United States’ Attorney’s Office District of Oregon read.
“This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.”
And, as it stands, Biggs is going to be spending a goodly chunk of his life behind bars. And on his way, he managed to make national news in the worst way possible.