Former cop finally gets prison for crimes against kids

Leo Haley

In yesterday's Daily News cover story, I detailed how retired Philadelphia Police Inspector Leo Haley has managed to escape jail time in two separate cases involving crimes against children.

Today, Haley's luck finally ran out. This morning in Delaware County court he was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years in state prison for vioalting his parole.

In the first case in 2011, Haley, now 73, received house arrest and probation from Delaware County authorities for possessing and disseminating hundreds of images of child pornography. As a result of his conviction, Haley was required to register for life as a violent sexual predator under Megan's Law.

While still on parole, Haley attempted to lure Donna Harte's 8-year-old daughter from the front yard of her Roxborough home in 2012. Despite the fact he was a Megan's Law offender and still on parole, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office ironed out a plea deal with Haley for five years of probation in exchange for a guilty plea to a single count of terroristic threats. All other charges against Haley were dropped.

The guilty plea to the Philly case was an automatic admission that he violated his parole in the Delco case. This morning, Haley was sentenced for violating his original parole in Delaware County and received the maximum amount of jail time, as sought by prosecutors.

However, there was some disturbing new information that came to light in court today that confirmed what a source had told me but I couldn't get on the record for the first story.

While Haley was on home monitoring for the Delaware County case and long before the Philly luring case occurred, probation officers went to his Roxborough home to do a compliance check. While doing the check, officers discovered Haley had adult pornography on his home computer and had one video of child pornography on his iPod.

Instead of violating him on his probation there, or instead of bringing him up on a whole new set of child pornogrpahy charges, Delco authorities decided the best idea was just to continue him on the path of sexual offender treatment and monitoring.

If they would have filed new charges and Haley was again convicted of child pornography, he would have faced a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison for a second Megan's Law offense, said Delaware County Deputy District Attorney Michael Galantino.He also wouldn't have been free to victimize Harte's daughter.

"In hindsight, perhaps we should have done that," Galantino told the judge yesterday.

Galantino, who handles the county's more egregious special victims cases, was not the original prosecutor on Haley's case. He handled yesterday's hearing at the special request of Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.

So not only has Haley escaped jail time twice for crimes against children as detailed in yesterday's story, he's escaped three times.

As for Haley, the church-going retired police inspector with masters degrees in business and religion, he maintains his innocence.

"I didn't do what I was accused of," he said this morning.

On a side note, I received an interesting email from a man who claimed to have been on the same block as Haley in prison. He said the description a source gave me of Haley being a sociopath is "spot on."

"He was incredibly jovial and mysterious at the same time. Because he was intelligent we talked daily," the man wrote. "He also never showers and reads the bible (sic) as if it's going out of style."

Haley is living proof that just because you're educated doesn't mean you're smart. I hope today's sentencing knocked all of that "jovial" spirit right out of him. The best part of my day so far was calling Donna Harte, whose daughter Haley tried to abduct, and telling her that he'd be in prison for at least the next three years.