Chandler Police: Phoenix man arrested, accused of child molestation

- Chandler Police officials say a Phoenix man has been arrested and accused of multiple counts of child molestation.

According to a statement released Wednesday afternoon, 53-year-old Richard Allen Gallegos was arrested for incidents which allegedly took place between 2009 and early 2011. The victims were between the ages of 11 and 14 at the time of the incidents.

Gallegos, Chandler Police officials say, was the subject of a Chandler Police investigation in 2009 for his alleged behavior towards children. At the time, Chandler Police say he helped coach a club baseball team in Ahwatukee, and volunteered as a baseball coach at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler.

Officials say at the times, detectives did not have enough evidence to charge Gallegos with a crime, but last month, a former player of the club team Gallegos helped coach contacted Chandler Police and disclosed multiple sexual encounters with Gallegos. Later, a second former player came forward.

According to court documents released by Chandler Police, the two players who came forward were interviewed at the time, and made no disclosures. Both victims, now 21 years old, told police last month of multiple incidents.  

Investigators are reportedly trying to determine of Gallegos continued to coach baseball, or interacted with children in the capacity as a coach or instructor after 2011.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Phoenix has released the following statement on Gallegos' arrest.

The Diocese of Phoenix has learned that Richard Gallegos, a former volunteer coach at
Seton Catholic Preparatory in Chandler, was arrested last night on charges of child
abuse.

Mr. Gallegos was a volunteer coach at the high school from 2009 to 2011.

Our Catholic Schools Office and Seton Catholic Preparatory are cooperating with the
police investigation as we seek to learn more about this situation. 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.

The Diocese of Phoenix is committed to providing a safe environment where it values
and honors every individual as created in the image and likeness of God. Great efforts
have been made to put systems into place to keep our young people safe.

Additionally, the Diocese of Phoenix provides support services through its Office of
Child and Youth Protection at (602) 354-2396 or at dphx.org/youth-protection.

 

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