PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Former Exeter police officer Leonard Galli is behind bars after being caught in an online sex sting set up by a civilian.
According to police paperwork, a witness reported to the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office that they had spoken to Galli online through dating app Grindr while identifying themselves as a 15-year-old boy back in August. Police say the witness claimed to have met with the man, who had identified himself as ‘Paul’ at a local Turkey Hill Mini Mart in Plains Township. This interaction, as well as confrontation was videotaped by the witness.
Officials say an investigation of the evidence provided by the witness corroborated his statements and showed Galli agreeing to meet with someone he thought was a minor. Phone records showed that the email address associated with the Grindr account was registered with an IP address linked to Galli.
Officers also obtained surveillance footage from the Turkey Hill which showed Galli allegedly meeting with the witness.
A video, posted to YouTube by a resident known as the Luzerne County Predator Catcher in August appears to show the interaction. While police have not yet confirmed this is the video mentioned in the paperwork, it appears to show Galli at a Turkey Hill. The man identifies himself as Paul and says he is there to meet a friend before backtracking and claiming he was just going into the store for iced tea. He then darted off.
We spoke with several people in Exeter. Every single one knew of Galli. Not one had something nice to say.
“It’s horrible, I mean, you know you put your life for them, and this is what they’re doing. It’s just not right. I mean they should just do what they do to anybody else, put them away for a long time,” Dominic Vacco of West Wyoming told Eyewitness News.
“You know, you do hear the rumors, and he’s always running around doing some perverted stuff,” said Steven Conn of West Pittston.
Galli is at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility facing charges for corruption of minors, sexual abuse with a minor and statutory sexual assault with someone 11 years or older. Galli was denied bail, so he will remain behind bars.