$1 million bail and Dec. court date set for former police officer charged with child luring

A Roxborough man arrested earlier this month for attempting to lure a young girl into his vehicle will be formally arraigned on four charges in December.

According to police and court statements, Leo Haley, of the 4300 block of Lauriston Street, approached an eight-year-old female on Oct. 18 at approximately 12:30 p.m., on the 7000 block of Voigt Rd. and attempted to lure her into his vehicle.

Haley, a 72-year-old retired Philadelphia Police Inspector, was arrested on Nov. 8 on several counts, including unlawful restraint, terroristic threats, luring a child into a vehicle, and harassment.

However, this was not the first time Haley faced multiple criminal charges: In 2010, he was charged with six counts of disseminating images of child sex acts, and almost fifty counts each of child pornography and criminal dissemination in a communication facility.

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Haley was found guilty on four of the child pornography counts, and received four sentences of six months each. He was subsequently released on parole.

At his preliminary hearing on Tuesday at Family Court, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Fischer said that of the several criminal counts that Haley currently faces, unlawful restraint – a second degree felony – will be the lead charge in the case. 

Haley, who is being held on $1 million bail, will be arraigned on Dec. 18.

The young victim’s account 

With his hands shackled by two pairs of handcuffs, Haley stood before his accuser early Tuesday afternoon wearing a maroon golf shirt, blue pants, and scuffed sneakers that offset his trimmed white beard and mustache.

The eight year-old girl, whose name NewsWorks is withholding for privacy reasons, addressed Family Division Judge Alfred DiBona while seated on a stool, clutching a microphone in her right hand and a brown and tan stuffed monkey in her left.

According to the girl, she was playing on the front yard of her home when a black car pulled up. The girl said that she had been playing with a five year-old friend, but that the other child was in the backyard when a man wearing an orange jumpsuit exited the vehicle. When asked by Fischer who exited the car, the girl stumbled somewhat but ultimately pointed to Haley.

Next, 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. The girl sustained no injuries through the encounter – although she said her throat really hurt afterward – but she had the presence of mind to freeze and record the vehicle’s license plate number, the description of which Fischer would note was only missing one digit.

Tracking down a suspect

Fischer added that on the evening following the attempted abduction, the girl’s family scanned photos on a Megan’s Law-related website for potential suspects in the 19128 zip code, finding Haley’s picture contained therein.

Subsequent to this search, police compiled a photo array of suspects, whereupon the young girl positively identified Haley.

The girl’s father, who was present at the hearing, declined comment following the testimony. Fischer stipulated late in the hearing that the girl’s mother will eventually testify that Haley did not have permission to take her daughter.

Haley was represented by attorney Deborah Fegan, who had just been appointed that day. Fegan told the judge prior to the young girl’s testimony that seeing Haley’s picture on a sexual predator website was “unduly suggestive,” and anticipated putting forth a motion to suppress the prosecution’s request for a police line-up.

Fegan deferred comment on the preliminary hearing, citing her recent appointment as Haley’s counsel.

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