PLAINS TWP. — Former Exeter police officer Leonard Galli was jailed without bail Friday on charges he solicited a 15-year-old boy for sex.
Galli’s arrest on five felony and two misdemeanor sex offenses stems from a confrontation that was video recorded and posted on the Facebook site Luzerne County Predator Catcher on Aug. 15.
Musa Harris, who runs the predator catcher page, acknowledged he provided the video and other evidence involving Galli to Luzerne County detectives.
During a phone interview Thursday, Harris said he has confronted 88 people at designated meeting locations under the pretense they were meeting a 15-year-old for sex. Harris said Galli is the only one he has cooperated with detectives.
Harris is not identified by name in the criminal complaint filed against Galli with District Judge Joseph Spagnuolo Jr. in Plains Township.
According to the complaint:
Galli communicated with a “witness” on Aug. 15 on a social networking site and an online dating application. Galli referred to himself as “Paul” and expressed interest in having sexual contact. Galli further sent photos of himself to the witness.
The witness reported his age as 15-years-old during text messages with “Paul,” who told the witness he was 39-years-old.
After learning he was communicating with a 15-year-old boy, Galli requested they meet “for the purpose of further establishing Paul’s intent to have sexual contact with the would be 15-year-old,” the complaint says.
A meeting was set up at Turkey Hill on South Main Street in Plains Township.
When the witness confronted “Paul” about his intent to meet a minor, “Paul” denied it, denied his name was Paul and abruptly left, the complaint says.
Harris posted the video of his confrontation along with chat logs on his Facebook site.
A review of chat logs Harris posted says “Paul” requested pictures of the 15-year-old’s penis.
Detectives traced the phone number used to communicate with the witness to Galli, and also obtain surveillance video from Turkey Hill showing Galli arriving and leaving, the complaint says.
Galli, 53, of Exeter, was charged with criminal solicitation to commit statutory sexual assault, criminal attempt to commit statutory sexual assault, criminal attempt to commit unlawful contact with a minor, criminal attempt to commit sexual abuse, criminal use of communication facility, corruption of minors and criminal solicitation to commit corruption of minors.
Spagnuolo jailed Galli at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail as he deemed him a danger to society.
Galli was a candidate for a seat on Exeter Borough Council in 2019, losing in the general election.