Chandler, Arizona, police said they have arrested a former youth baseball coach years after he was first alleged to have molested boys on his teams.
Richard Allen Gallegos, 53, is facing charges of molestation, sexual conduct and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. The Phoenix man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the alleged crimes, which were said to have been perpetrated on boys ages 11 to 14 years old.
Gallegos was the subject of a Chandler police investigation in 2009 for his suspected behavior towards children, but detectives did not have enough evidence to charge Gallegos with a crime, according to Sgt. Daniel Mejia, a spokesman for the Chandler Police Department.
At the time, Gallegos helped coach a club baseball team in Ahwatukee and volunteered as a baseball coach at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler until early 2011, according to Mejia. It wasn’t immediately clear if Gallegos has coached since.
A former player on the club team, now 21 years old, contacted Chandler police in June and alleged multiple sexual encounters with Gallegos when he was between 11 and 14 years old, police wrote in court records.
Mejia said another former player also came forward and revealed sexual encounters with Gallegos.
Both players were interviewed between 2010 and 2011 but did not disclose any sexual activity with Gallegos, according to court records.
On July 10, one of the accusers made a police-monitored phone call to Gallegos, in which Gallegos spoke about touching him on multiple occasions, court records said.
After Gallegos was arrested, he admitted to being the man on the other end of the recorded conversation, but he denied any inappropriate touching.
“Our Catholic Schools Office and Seton Catholic Preparatory are cooperating with the police investigation as we seek to learn more about this situation,” Robert DeFrancesco, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, said in a statement Wednesday.
“Chandler police do not have any reason to believe that the crimes were committed at the school. Anyone who has been a victim of abuse or who may have information concerning these allegations is encouraged to call the Chandler Police Department.”
Investigators are still determining if Gallegos continued to coach baseball or interact with children as a coach or instructor after 2011, Mejia said.
Gallegos was booked into a Maricopa County jail on suspicion of three counts of molestation of a child, five counts of sexual conduct of a minor and two counts of attempted sexual conduct with a minor, Mejia said.