A former baseball coach was sentenced to 25 years in prison May 24 after pleading guilty to sexual conduct with a number of young boys on his former teams.
Richard Allen Gallegos, 53, was arrested in July in connection with assaults on boys who were 11 to 14 years old at the time of the incidents.
He pleaded guilty in April to several charges of attempted sexual conduct with a minor.
He originally faced additional charges of molestation, sexual conduct and attempted sexual conduct with a minor, though these accusations were dismissed in his plea deal.
At his sentencing, victims and family members spoke out against Gallegos.
“Gallegos is a man who has done unspeakable things to me,” one victim said to the court. “He molested me and is a horrible man.”
Parents also asked the judge not to allow Gallegos to remain in prison.
“I was vulnerable and my children were vulnerable,” one parent said while addressing the court. “I ask that you give him the maximum sentence you can and never allow him to do this to another child.”
Gallegos was the subject of a Chandler investigation as early as 2009, after a number of children accused him of inappropriate behavior. Detectives, however, said there was not enough evidence to charge him of those crimes.
In 2009, Gallegos was an assistant coach of a club baseball team in Ahwatukee and volunteered as a baseball coach at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler until early 2011. He was also a volunteer coach in Glendale years ago, although no accusations have been made from athletes in the city.
In June 2018, a former player on the club team who is now 21 years old contacted Chandler police and alleged multiple sexual encounters with Gallegos when he was between 11 and 14 years old. A second former player came forward with accusations as well, and an investigation was opened in late 2010.
Police began investigating that month by interviewing players from the team, but no sexual activity with Gallegos was reported in initial interviews.
On July 10, one of the original accusers in connection with police called Gallegos, who on the phone discussed touching the player on multiple occasions.
Gallegos was arrested in mid-July and admitted to officers he was the person on the phone, but denied inappropriate contact with any of his players.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix confirmed in a statement that Gallegos was a volunteer coach at the school between 2009 and 2011.
Immediately after Gallegos’ arrest, Roman Catholic Dioceses spokesman Robert DeFrancesco released a statement, and said, “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.”
One of the original victims believess there may be more victims who have not come forward. At the time of his arrest Gallegos was trying to start a youth volleyball program in the Valley.
“I was very into baseball and he said he could help my baseball career,” the victim said. “The decision to come forward took me over eight years to even talk about what he had done to me.
“Hopefully my discussing what happened will bring more victims to come forward.”