A former Philadelphia police officer from Roxborough who tried to lure a young girl into his vehicle was sentenced to five years of probation on Wednesday.
Leo Haley, a 73-year-old retired Philadelphia Police Inspector from the 4300 block of Lauriston St., was arrested in November on several counts including unlawful restraint, terroristic threats, luring a child into a vehicle and harassment.
According to police reports and court statements, Haley approached an 8-year-old female around 12:30 p.m. Oct. 18 on the 7000 block of Voigt Road. and attempted to lure her into his vehicle. The girl resisted Haley and subsequently identified him through an online sex-offender database.
His negotiated guilty plea of probation will run concurrently with a sentence imposed that stemmed from charges in connection to an earlier arrest.
In 2010, Haley was charged with six counts of disseminating images of child sex acts, and nearly 50 counts each of child pornography and criminal dissemination in a communication facility.
In Jan. 2011, he pleaded guilty to the charges of disseminating photographs of child sex acts along with five counts of child pornography, one of which carried a 7-year sentence.
A year later, he was granted probation and his supervision was transferred to the Delaware County Adult Probation Unit.
In Oct. 2012, an 8-year-old Roxborough girl – NewsWorks is withholding her name from publication – was playing on the front yard of her home when a black car pulled up, according to testimony at Haley’s preliminary hearing.
The girl said that she had been playing with a 5-year-old friend, but that the other child was in the backyard when a man wearing an orange jumpsuit exited the vehicle.
Haley was said to have grabbed the girl by her dress, ultimately latching on to her neck for a period of time.
According the girl, he then said, “If you go into the house or tell anyone I’ll kill you.”
Haley then reportedly pulled the girl close to him, letting her go before running back to his vehicle and fleeing.
How she helped catch him
The girl sustained no injuries, beyond throat pain, and had the presence of mind to freeze and record the vehicle’s license-plate number, the description of which a prosecutor would note was missing just one digit.
The next night, the girl’s family scanned photos on a Megan’s Law-related website for potential suspects in the 19128 zip code. That’s where she found Haley’s picture.
Police then compiled a photo lineup in which the young girl again positively identified Haley.
Haley’s attorney, Deborah Fegan, told Family Division Judge Alfred DiBona last November that seeing Haley’s picture on a sexual predator website was “unduly suggestive.” She anticipated putting forth a motion to suppress the prosecution’s request for a police line-up.
Despite this objection, Haley was held for court on several counts, of which unlawful restraint – a second-degree felony – was the lead charge in the case. Haley was held on $1 million bail.
Cutting a deal
In January, prosecutors made an offer to Haley, but online court-records indicate that he refused it. No details were provided about the offer, and neither Assistant District Attorney James Carpenter nor Haley’s attorney were available for comment on Thursday.
With other charges dropped, Haley accepted a sentence of 5 years of probation on a “terroristic threats” charge that would be served concurrently with his sentence from 2011.