Phoenix youth baseball coach arrested on child molestation charges
PHOENIX — A Phoenix man who has ties to club baseball in the East Valley and Phoenix was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly molesting two boys between the ages of 11 and 14 from 2009 and 2011, the Chandler Police Department announced.
Richard Allen Gallegos, 53, was arrested on three counts of child molestation, five counts of sexual conduct of a minor and two counts of attempted sexual conduct with a minor. He was booked into the Maricopa County Jail.
The department had been investigating Gallegos since 2009, when police were contacted by a parent who was “concerned about some behavior that Gallegos was allegedly showing her son,” Det. Seth Tyler with the Chandler Police Department told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
The son played for a club baseball team in Ahwatukee that Gallegos helped coach at the time. Gallegos also volunteered as a baseball coach at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler during that time period.
While officers were investigating the allegation from the concerned parent, they also found two more baseball players on the club team “where Gallegos was not rising to the level of criminal behavior but was certainly doing some things that were not appropriate for an adult male to do with juvenile boys,” Tyler said.
Tyler said the department did not have enough evidence to arrest Gallegos on charges at the time and the case was closed in 2011.
The case was reopened after one of the two players came forward in June to “disclose multiple sexual encounters he had with Gallegos at that time,” Tyler said. The other player came forward shortly after and disclosed the alleged predatory and abusive behavior done at the hands of Gallegos.
Court documents showed that Gallegos allegedly molested one of the victims on at least eight different occasions, including after the victim lost a baseball game in Phoenix. The second victim, according to court documents, told police that Gallegos molested him at least twice.
“There’s always a possibility of additional victims,” Tyler said, adding that Gallegos had access to a number of boys during his time with the baseball teams.
Investigators are working to determine whether more victims were molested by Gallegos and whether he continued to coach baseball or interact with children as a coach or instructor after 2011.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.